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The National Anti-Doping Bill, 2021 passed

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Government Policies


Source: Business standards

Direction: It is not very important from Mains perspective. For Prelims, just go through provisions once. No need to remember.

Context: The bill seeks to provide a statutory framework for the functioning of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and the National Dope Testing Laboratory in sports.

  • It also seeks to give effect to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation International Convention against doping in sports and compliance with such other obligations and commitments.

Aim of the bill: It prohibits athletes, athlete support personnel and other persons from engaging in doping in sports.

Doping definition: It is the consumption of certain prohibited substances by athletes to enhance performance.

Key Features of the passed bill:

  • Prohibition of doping: The Bill prohibits athletes, athlete support personnel and other persons from engaging in doping in sports.
    • Support personnel includes the coach, trainer, manager, team staff, medical personnel, and other persons working with or treating or assisting an athlete.
  • No violation of the following rules:
    • presence of prohibited substances or their markers in an athlete’s body
    • use, attempted use or possession of prohibited substances or methods
    • refusing to submit a sample
    • trafficking or attempted trafficking in prohibited substances or methods, and
    • aiding or covering up such violations.
    • If any athlete requires a prohibited substance or method due to a medical condition, they may apply to the National Anti-Doping Agency for a therapeutic use exemption.
  • Consequences of violations: Anti-doping rule violation by an individual athlete or athlete support personnel may result in disqualification from an event already held- seizer of prize, ineligibility to participate in a competition to be held, and financial sanctions.
  • Changes in National Anti-Doping Agency: Currently, anti-doping rules are implemented by the National Anti-Doping Agency, which was established as a society.
    • The Bill provides for constituting this National Anti-Doping Agency as a statutory  It will be headed by a Director General appointed by the central government.
  • Data related to athletes and doping: The Agency will also have the power to collect certain personal data of athletes such as (a) sex or gender, (ii) medical history, and (iii) whereabout information of athletes (for out of competition testing and collection of samples).
  • National Board for Anti-Doping in Sports: The Bill establishes a National Board for Anti-Doping in Sports to make recommendations to the government on anti-doping regulation and compliance with international commitments on anti-doping.  T
  • Anti-doping Appeal Panels: The Board will constitute a National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel for determining the consequences of anti-doping rule violations.   This Panel will consist of a Chairperson and four Vice-Chairpersons (all legal experts), and ten members (medical practitioners and retired eminent athletes).
  • Dope Testing Laboratories: The existing National Dope Testing Laboratory will be deemed to be the principal dope testing laboratory. The central government may establish more National Dope Testing Laboratories.

Key Issues:

  • Director General of NADA: the qualifications of the Director General are not specified in the Bill and are left to be notified through Rules.
    • Central government may remove the Director General from the office on grounds of misbehaviour or incapacity or “such other ground”.
    • Leaving these provisions to the discretion of the central government may affect the independence of the Director General.
  • Power to remove: Under the Bill, the Board has powers to remove the members of the Disciplinary Panel and Appeal Panel on grounds which will be specified by regulations and are not specified in the Bill.
    • Further, there is no requirement to give them an opportunity of being heard.  This may affect the independent functioning of these panels.
Insta curious:

International institution: WADA

In November 1999 the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was set up under the International Olympic Committee.

  • WADA is recognised by the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport (2005).
  • WADA’s primary role is to develop, harmonise, and coordinate anti-doping regulations across all sports and countries.
  • It does so by ensuring proper implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA Code) and its standards, conducting investigations into doping incidents, conducting research on doping, and educating sportspersons and related personnel on anti-doping regulations.
  • WADA publishes the list of prohibited substances at least once a year and distributes it to all the signatories.
  • Use of prohibited substances is exempted if needed for therapeutic use, as specified.
  • According to WADA, in 2019, most of the doping rule violations were committed in bodybuilding (22%), followed by athletics (18%), cycling (14%), and weightlifting (13%)

Insta Links

National Anti-Doping Bill


Mains Link (Practice Question)

Q. India does not figure very high in terms of sporting achievement, but disproportionately high on athletes accused of doping. Examine why and discuss probable solutions to tackle the doping menace. (250 words)


Consider the following statements in respect of the Laureus World Sports Award which was instituted in the year 2000

  1. American golfer Tiger Woods was the first winner of this award.
  2. The award was received mostly by ‘Formula One players so far.
  3. Roger Federer received this maximum number of compared to others

Which of the above statement are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C

The award event was first held in 2000. The annual event honours the greatest and most inspirational sporting triumphs of the year and showcases the work of Laureus Sport for Good.