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National Anti-Doping Bill 

Context

Recently, parliament passed the National Anti-Doping Bill 2021 Bill that seeks to create a statutory framework for the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About National Anti-Doping Bill
  2. Significance of the Bill
  3. What are the Issues with the Bill?

About National Anti-Doping Bill

  • It was initially presented in the Lok Sabha in December 2021 and is being piloted by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
  • The bill will protect the interest of sportspersons as it will provide ample space for them to put forth their versions especially when they face anti- doping charges.
Key Features of the Bill
  • Building institutional capabilities in anti-doping and enabling hosting of major sports events;
  • The Bill provides for constituting this National Anti-Doping Agency as a statutory body.
    • It will be headed by a Director General appointed by the central government. Functions of the Agency include,
    • Planning, implementing, and monitoring anti-doping activities,
    • Investigating anti-doping rule violations,
    • Promoting anti-doping research.
  • 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.
    • The Board will oversee the activities of the Agency and issue directions to it.
  • Protecting rights of all sportspersons;
  • Ensuring time-bound justice to athletes;
  • Enhancing cooperation among agencies in fighting doping in sports;
  • Reinforcing India’s commitment to international obligations for clean sports;
  • Independent mechanism for anti-doping adjudication;
  • Establishing more Dope Testing Labs;
  • Creating job opportunities both, directly & indirectly; and
  • Creating opportunities for academic research, science and manufacturing relating to Anti-Doping.
  • Establishing standards for the manufacturing of nutritional supplements for sports in India.

Significance of the Bill

  • In addition to improving agency collaboration in the battle against doping, the bill aims to provide athletes with time-bound justice.
  • It also aims to reaffirm India’s commitment to upholding its duties under international clean sports laws.
  • The bill would contribute to the development of a reliable, impartial system for anti-doping adjudication.
  • The legislation will also provide NADA and the National Dope Testing Laboratory legal sanctity in how they do their business.

What are the Issues with the Bill?

  • The qualifications of the Director General are not specified in the Bill and are left to be notified through Rules.
  • 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.
  • This also goes against the mandate of the World Anti-Doping Agency that such bodies must be independent in their operations.
  • 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.

-Source: The Hindu


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