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By Sohail Ali

LAHORE, Dec 22 (APP):Pakistan Olympic Association has suspended the recognition / membership of Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) with it (POA) after AFP failed to implement proper anti-doping policies evident from the three anti-doping violations in one international competition.

The menace of doping is something which needs to be addressed strongly specially so that clean athletes are protected and the competition is a fair one without any use of performance enhancing drugs, said Secretary, POA, Muhammad Khalid Mahmood here on Tuesday night.

“Not only that but the athletes who take drugs are actually putting their own life in danger. In POA’s endeavor to eradicate the scourge of doping from national sports, the Executive Committee of POA reviewed the fact that during 13th South Asian Games, 2019 wherein ten athletes from five sports were tested for doping but three athletes of the sports of Athletics were found positive.

“This was an alarming indicator and therefore a probe was directed in accordance with applicable rules and guidelines in which all the affiliated National Sports Federations were advised to participate.

The Anti – Doping Organization of Pakistan (ADOP) had also advised POA to take additional disciplinary measures against (AFP) considering positive result of more than one athlete in one international competition in accordance with Anti Doping Rules of ADOP”.

POA official said It is most unfortunate that AFP refused to cooperate with the Probe Committee. However it has been ascertained that AFP failed to implement proper anti-doping policies evident from the three anti-doping violations in one international competition.

These positive cases are detrimental for the Olympic Movement of Pakistan as doping practices propagates negative image of the country and that of the Olympic Movement.

“Anti – Doping Rules Violations are undesirable and unacceptable activity that brings discredit to the country and Olympic Movement of Pakistan.

Three doping failures in one international competition also establish that AFP is not in a position to ensure compliance of its athletes with the relevant anti-doping regulations, therefore recognition / membership of Athletics Federation of Pakistan has been suspended with POA (NOC PAKISTAN).

Athletes of sports of Athletics, except from those banned for doping offences will be facilitated to secure athlete’s right to participate in international or national events / programs of POA in particular the Olympic or regional Games during the course of suspension of AFP”, said Khalid Mahmood.

He said for reinstatement of membership, AFP has been advised to comply with conditions prepared in accordance with the applicable rules and guidelines including establishment of whistle blowing program, awareness campaigns and adoption of polices and rules that mitigate the risk of doping in the sports of athletics.