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Play Fair, Says Anurag Thakur Inaugurating Testing Centre For Health Supplements Used By Athletes

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In a bid to ensure that athletes steer clear of contaminated supplements, which are also often cited as reason for failed dope tests by offenders caught in the anti-doping net, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday inaugurated a Centre of Excellence in Gandhinagar that would evaluate such add-ons. The minister virtually inaugurated the Centre of Excellence for Nutritional Supplements Testing for Sportspersons (CoE-NSTS) at the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

CoE-NSTS will test supplements for sportspersons to ensure only the best products are available to athletes preparing for mega-events.

“When we talk about the Road to Paris, all we have to say is play safe, play clean and play fair. For that, awareness is very important. Apart from awareness, you need to have the right facilities for the athletes,” said Thakur on the sidelines of the ‘Road to Paris 2024: Championing Clean Sports and Uniting for Anti-Doping’ conference.

“Till now, there was no facility for testing nutritional supplements. Now we have it in place. So, if there are contaminated supplements in gyms, power enhancers, they too can be checked through this now. Athletes can also get good quality supplements to improve their performance,” he added.

Doping has been the bane of Indian sports and a lot of times, athletes caught during testing plead innocence claiming accidental ingestion of banned substances due to spurious supplements and medicines.

Stressing upon the principles of fair play, Thakur said integrity is essential and the country would like to put its best foot forward at the Paris Olympic Games in July-August this year.

CoE-NSTS, he said, was a step in creating the facilities that would ensure greater transparency.

“CoE-NSTS will do research on nutritional supplements and sportspersons can get more information on the nutrients. It is very important for Road to Paris 2024 that we create awareness among athletes with regard to anti-doping activities and keep them away from doping,” he said.

The minister said the establishment of CoE-NSTS “aligns with the ministry’s goal to develop nutritional supplement testing facilities in India” Praising the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), Thakur said, “NADA’s efforts in promoting clean sport and anti-doping measures have played a crucial role in educating athletes, conducting tests, and enforcing anti-doping rules and policies.”

(Except for the headline, )

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