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IOA asks India's Asian Games contingent to strictly follow "No Needle Policy"

The Indian Olympic Association has asked the country's Asian Games contingent to strictly follow the "No Needle Policy" of the continental Olympic body while staying at the Athletes' Village, seeking to avoid a Commonwealth Games type embarrassment where some athletes were pulled up for violation of similar rules.


PTI 01 Aug 2018, 11:28 AM India

The Indian Olympic Association has asked the country's Asian Games contingent to strictly follow the "No Needle Policy" of the continental Olympic body while staying at the Athletes' Village, seeking to avoid a Commonwealth Games type embarrassment where some athletes were pulled up for violation of similar rules.

The officials of the National Sports Federations have been tasked to take responsibility of ensuring that medicines prescribed for specific purposes or illness do not contain prohibited substances.

They have been asked to carry prescriptions from licensed doctors regarding medicines the athletes or the officials may require, including details of the medical condition.

"It is the responsibility of the NSFs and their appointed officials to ensure that prescription medicines carried by the team/athlete do not contain any WADA prohibited substance. Medicines should be carried/kept in sealed transparent cover. A copy of the prescription by licensed doctor including details of the medical condition, quantity of medicine, etc should always be maintained," the IOA said in a letter to all its units.

"If any official is required to take insulin or any other intravenous medicines as prescribed during stay at Games Village, they are required to store the medicine and needles in the IOA Office/Polyclinic in the Village," IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said in the letter.

The IOA was writing to the concerned NSFs in compliance with the OCA 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.

"All injections are to be medically justified and necessary; and 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 noon time," a letter of the OCA to all member countries said.

"Failure to so provide such 'Injection Declaration Form' to the OCA-MCADC Chairman, as well as the use of injectable materials for medical treatment that is not necessary, shall be regarded as serious matters and may expose the NOC delegation, including the concerned athletes, to disciplinary action, additional testing and possible sanctions, as determined by the OCA Executive Board."

All the member countries are tasked to take "all appropriate steps so that all injectable materials are stored in a central secured location, access to which is restricted to authorized medical personnel of the NOC delegations."

"If the relevant NOC or International Federation also has rules in place regarding the subject matter dealt with herein, the rules of the relevant NOC or International Federation shall also apply. 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."

During the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April, 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.

The embarrassment came after the Indian contingent escaped unscathed when a needle was found outside a boxer’s room. At that time the CGF had merely issued a reprimand to India for not disposing the syringe as prescribed, clearing the country of any declaration norm violations.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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