The National Anti-Doping Agency on Monday suspended pistol shooter Khizar Khan and Sharvan Kumar for failing dope tests during the National Championships in December 2019 and selection trials in January respectively, The Times of India reported.
The violators are believed to have consumed beta-blockers that help in settling nerves and give an advantage over other competitors in the sport.
This took the number of doping violations in shooting in India to five in the last year, a number which represents a significant rise. Since the formation of Nada in 2005, the National Rifle Association of India has had only five cases of doping violations in 14 years.
The NRAI president Raninder Singh credits the increase in the number of tests conducted as a reason for the rise in the dope violations.
“There are more tests conducted in shooting now. A couple of years ago there used to be no National Anti Doping Agency (Nada) presence in our competitions despite us calling them. But things have changed for good since last few years and even the Sports Authority of India (SAI) seems to have pushed them (Nada) to conduct more tests,” Raninder told The Times of India.
“I feel the suspension is a message to all those who think of taking shortcuts to success,” the NRAI chief added.
However, Nada chief Navin Agarwal put it down to the increase in the popularity of the sport.
“The sport has become popular in the last few years and the competition has become tougher at the domestic level. And when there are so many shooters competing for a few spots, some tend to take the doping route,” Agarwal told the newspaper.
Pawan Yadav, Sandeep Singh, Ravi Kumar, Sharvan Kumar and Khizar Khan are the five shooters who have failed dope tests in the past year.