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Rajya Sabha passes anti-doping Bill

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Parliament-structure, functioning, the conduct of business, power and privileges and issues arising out of these, Anti-doping Bill etc

 

Directions: UPSC may ask about provisions of Anti-doping bill and international standards for athletes etc

Source: Live Mint

 

Context:

  • The parliament passed the National Anti-Doping Bill unanimously on Wednesday by a voice vote.
  • The Bill aims to provide a statutory framework for the functioning of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and the National Dope Testing Laboratory in sports.
  • The Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports said India will now join the league of nations like the US, China, France or Australia, Japan, S Korea to have a law and dope test laboratory.

 

Key provisions:

  • Prohibits athletes from engaging in doping: The legislation prohibits athletes, athlete support personnel, and other persons from engaging in doping in sports.
  • Powers to NADA: The bill will give NADA powers of, “investigation, levying sanctions for anti-doping rule violations, the disciplinary procedures to be adopted and the powers of inspection, sample collection and sharing and free flow of information”.
  • Disqualification for violating rules: In case of violation of doping rules, the athlete will be disqualified.
    • Besides forfeiture of medals, points, and prizes, ineligibility to participate in a competition or event for a prescribed period, and financial sanctions are the actions the violator will have to face.
  • Planning, monitoring and implementing anti-doping rules: The bill provides for planning, implementing, and monitoring anti-doping activities as well as investigating anti-doping rule violations.
  • In consonance with UNESCO Convention on doping: It also seeks to give effect to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization International Convention against doping in sports and compliance with such other obligations and commitments.

 

Issues with the Bill:

  • Qualification of Director General: The qualifications of the Director General are not specified in the Bill and are left to be notified through Rules.
  • Removal of Director General: The central government may remove the Director General from the office on grounds of misbehavior or incapacity or “such other ground”.
    • Leaving these provisions to the discretion of the central government may affect the independence of the Director General.
  • Against the mandate of WADA: This also goes against the mandate of the World Anti-Doping Agency that such bodies must be independent in their operations.
  • Powers of board: 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.
  • No requirement of opportunity to be heard: Further, there is no requirement to give them an opportunity of being heard. This may affect the independent functioning of these panels.

 

National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA):

  • It was set up as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 on 24th November, 2005 with a mandate for Dope free sports in India.
  • The primary objectives are to implement anti-doping rules as per WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code, regulate dope control programmes, to promote education and research and create awareness about doping and its ill effects.
  • The NADA has the necessary authority and responsibility for:
    • Planning, coordinating, implementing, monitoring and advocating improvements in Doping Control.
    • Cooperating with other relevant national organizations, agencies and other Anti-Doping Organizations etc.

 

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA):

  • It was set up in November, 1999 and 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, harmonize, 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.

 

Practice Questions:

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.

 

Consider the following statements:

  1. The World Anti-doping Agency(WADA) is recognised by the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport (2005).
  2. National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) was set up as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct:

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (c)

Justification:

Refer to table above