We will suspend coaches of dope offenders, says Indian athletics boss Sumariwalla 

New Delhi, May 17 (IANS): The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Friday revealed that equal penalties will be imposed on both coaches and athletes if the latter fails a dope test. This initiative is designed to hold coaches accountable and foster a culture of clean sports, said AFI President Adille Sumariwalla.

‚ÄúCoaches of the athletes who are caught for doping and are sanctioned will get a similar punishment. It is high time people were called out, named and shamed,‚ÄĚ said Sumariwalla in a virtual press conference after the AFI took the pathbreaking decision at its executive committee meeting on Friday.

“We will suspend the coaches (who have coached dope offenders), we will inform departments concerned and they will not be allowed to enter the stadiums. These people have to be removed from whatever posts they are holding.

The decision came in on the day it was revealed that Olympics-bound woman boxer Parveen Hooda has been provisionally suspended for a whereabouts failure, which is considered an anti-doping rules violation.

However, it seems more like a move to hold up the growing stature of Indian athletics in the wake of some superb performances by the Indians in the international circuit after Neeraj Chopra boosted it by winning the Olympics and World Championship titles and discouraging the taint of doping.

The AFI decision on Friday was taken after discussions with various stakeholders for about six months. ‚ÄúWe had talks with various agencies regarding this. If the coaches take a share of the athletes‚Äô cash award, then they should also get the stick.‚ÄĚ

All coaches, including those with NIS diplomas, must register with the AFI to guarantee accountability. The name of the coach will have to be disclosed by athletes on dope control papers to ensure responsibility and identification, Sumariwalla noted. "There can't be only carrot there; there has to be a stick for them also." This step will also stop several instructors from claiming accolades when an athlete succeeds.

The Olympic-bound competitors, many of whom are preparing overseas, will begin a coaching camp in Poland on July 5 and move into the Paris Games on July 28.

Among other crucial decisions on Friday, the AFI resolved to decentralise the coaching camps following the Olympics, implement a similar calendar for state and district competitions, enhance the technical administration of the events (including disciplining officials who neglect their duties), and digitize merit certificates using the government's Digilocker app to prevent certificates for jobs and promotions from being falsified.


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Title: We will suspend coaches of dope offenders, says Indian athletics boss Sumariwalla 

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