The Anti-Doping Bill: Basics Explained

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the National Anti-Doping Bill.

The bill aims to put a halt to doping in sports. The bill aims to grant greater powers to the National Anti-Doping Agency to conduct investigations, searches, and seizures, and ensure the proper functioning of the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL). These provisions gain prominence amid a rising concern with regard to doping in India over the years.

Further, a National Board for Anti-Doping will also be created to make suggestions to the government to keep a check on the practice , and ensure compliance with global rules and regulations in this regard.

The bill also involves the restructuring of the NADA from a society to a statutory body. Accordingly, it will be led by a government-appointed director general.

The country was placed at the third position among nations with the most doping violations, as per a 2019 report by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Russia and Italy are the only two countries that surpassed India in this regard.



Doping basically means athletes taking illegal substances to make their performance better. In broad terms, this is achieved through enhancing muscle mass, getting an artificial boost in energy ahead of a sporting event, reducing recovery time, and concealing the effects of other drugs.

There are five types of banned drugs, called doping classes.

The most common are stimulants and hormones. Although they enhance performance, they are health risks involved in taking them and they’re banned by sports’ governing bodies.

The most common are androgenic agents like anabolic steroids. These allow athletes to train harder and build more muscle. But they can lead to increased aggression and kidney damage.Other side-effects include baldness and low sperm count for men and increased facial hair and deepened voice for women.

Diuretics and masking agents are also used to remove fluid from the body, which can hide other drug use or in sports like boxing and horse racing, can help competitors “make the weight”.

There are also things called narcotic analgesics and cannabinoids. These are used to mask pain caused by injury or fatigue but can make injuries worse. They’re also addictive. Products such as Morphine and Oxycodone are banned but codeine is allowed.

And then there are peptide hormones. These are substances like EPO (Erythropoietin) which increase bulk, strength and red blood cells giving athletes more energy and HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which builds muscle.


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