Indian media: Concerns over doping in sports

Doping in sports has become more frequent in India
Image caption Doping in sports has become more frequent in India

Media reports say experts are concerned over the rising number of doping cases in Indian sports after the world athletics body said the country had the second highest number of "dope cheats".

The International Association of Athletics Federations recently revealed that India was behind leaders Russia on the doping list with 43 athletes currently serving suspension.

The Daily Bhaskar website says the number is "embarrassing" given India's limited success in major international athletics events.

The director-general of the National Anti-Doping Agency, Mukul Chatterjee, said the rising number of doping cases "is a matter of concern".

"The government and the National Anti-Doping Agency are working towards dope free sports in the country in association with stakeholders to rid sports of this menace and create a clean and healthy environment for sports in India," The Times of India quoted Sports Minister Jitendra Singh as saying.

The Indian Express says "a majority of Indian athletes have been suspended for using banned steroids like stanozolol and methandienone".

Meanwhile, most newspapers are criticising Indian-administered Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for failing to prevent religious violence in Kishtwar town.

The town is under curfew after clashes between Muslims and Hindus on Friday left three dead and 20 injured.

The Times of India says Mr Abdullah failed "to heed intelligence inputs that warned of a possible flare-up in the area".

"The state government has responded to the Kishtwar violence with the usual knee-jerk responses - curfew, information blackout, media bans," says The Indian Express.

"Kishtwar has had riots in 1994 and 2008 and, therefore, the state government should have been extra vigilant," feels the Hindustan Times.

The Deccan Herald, however, praised Mr Abdullah for stopping opposition leaders like Arun Jaitley and Mehbooba Mufti from visiting the riot-hit town.

"The state government did well to stop them from going to Kishtwar at this point. While its decision can be interpreted as a threat to their right to movement guaranteed under the Indian constitution, it became necessary to prevent possible violence," the paper said.

'Ray of hope'

Amid the riots, a Muslim-dominated neighbourhood showed "a ray of hope" as it made sure that a Hindu couple's marriage ceremony was held without any disturbance, The Hindu reports.

About 70 Muslims escorted the groom and his family to the bride's house even as riots raged nearby, the paper adds.

Meanwhile, tensions have been high between India and Pakistan since the killing of five Indian soldiers last week on the disputed Kashmir border.

India's army accused Pakistan over the incident, saying their troops had "entered the Indian area and ambushed" an army patrol in Poonch in the Jammu region.

Pakistan's military said "no fire took place" from their side.

Kashmir is claimed by both countries and has been a flashpoint for more than 60 years and the latest incident has further worsened bilateral relations.

ON Monday, Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said his country was not planning to give the Most Favoured Nation status to India after the latest incident, reports The Times of India.

Islamabad also asked India to tighten security at the offices of Pakistan International Airlines in Delhi and Mumbai after vandals "defaced" the signboard of the firm and issued a threat in the Indian capital, the Hindustan Times reports.

And finally, much to the delight of Indian classical music fans, a three-day Thumri music festival is due to begin on Tuesday in Delhi.

"Music maestros like Pandit Channulal Mishra, Pandit Ajay Pohankar and Shruti Sadolikar will be joined by younger musicians in celebrating a festival devoted to the romantic and mystical semi-classical genre, Thumri," says the Business Standard.

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