The Asian Games-bound Indian athletes should adhere to the ‘No Needle Policy’ during the mega-event in Indonesia, the IOA instructed today, pinning the responsibility on the national federations to ensure that the country is not embarrassed. Also Read - Indonesian Man Dresses Up as Spider-Man To Clean Up Plastic Waste, Urges Others to Do the Same
In a letter to all the National Sports Federations (NSFs), officials have been told to ensure that medicines prescribed for specific purposes or illnesses do not contain prohibited substances and all the syringes to be used are declared to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). Also Read - Malaysia PM Defends Criticism Over CAA, Says 'Need to be Frank' Despite India's Palm Oil Curbs
The missive comes in the wake of the embarrassment that the country’s contingent faced during the Commonwealth Games earlier this year. Two Indian track and field athletes — race walker K T Irfan and triple jumper V Rakesh Babu — were ordered to return home after they failed to explain the presence of needles in their bedroom at the Games Village. Also Read - World's Largest Flower Which is 4ft Wide & Smells Like Rotten Meat, Spotted in Indonesian Jungle
“Medicines should be carried/kept in sealed transparent cover. A copy of the prescription by the licensed doctor including details of the medical condition, quantity of medicine, etc should always be maintained,” the IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said in the letter.
“If any official is required to take insulin or any other intravenous medicines as prescribed during the stay at Games Village, they are required to store the medicine and needles in the IOA Office/Polyclinic in the Village,” he added.
The IOA’s letter is in compliance with the OCA’s Medical and Anti-Doping guidelines and ‘No Needle Policy’ applicable to the Asian Games.
Under the OCA’s “No Needle Policy”, no athlete can use injectable materials for medical treatment that is not necessary.
Also, athletes who use medicines for valid purposes will have to fill an ‘Injection Declaration Form’ and furnish it to the chairman of the OCA-Medical Committee & Anti-Doping Commission the next day before noon.
Violation of these strict rules will invite disciplinary action, additional testing and possible sanctions as determined by the OCA Executive Board.
“…whenever an athlete receives an injection — whether it is administered by a third party or by the athlete — during the period of the Games, the ‘Injection Declaration Form’ should be duly filled out and forwarded to the chairman of OCA-Medical Committee & Anti-Doping Commission no later than next day following such injection at the noontime,” an OCA letter to all member countries said.
All the member countries have been told to take “all appropriate steps so that all injectable materials are stored in a central secure location, access to which is restricted to authorized medical personnel of the NOC delegations.”
“In the event of any conflict between such rules and the present Policy, during the period of the Games, the OCA Executive Board shall resolve the matter.”
The sending back of athletes was not the only embarrassment for India at the CWG.
Before that, the contingent escaped unscathed when a needle was found outside a boxer’s room. At that time, the CGF had merely reprimanded India for not disposing of the syringe as prescribed, clearing the country of any declaration norm violations.