Commonwealth Games 2010, Sports Doping Scandal, Need for Sports Law in India

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What is the history of the Commonwealth Games?

  • These Games, formerly known as the British Empire Games, were first held in 1930 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The name changed to British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954, and later to British Commonwealth Games in 1970. Since 1978, they are known as the Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth Games are a unique, world class, multi-sport event held once every four years amongst the member countries and territories of the Commonwealth.

  • The three core values of the Commonwealth Games movement are Humanity, Equality and Destiny, which were adopted by the Games movement in 200 I. These values inspire and unite millions of people and symbolize the broad mandate for holding the Games within the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has 71 member nations and territories called Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) which includes India

What are the major highlights of the XIX Commonwealth Games to be held at Delhi from 3rd to 14th October, 2010?

  • The Games will be held in 17 + 1 (Elite Athletes with Disability) disciplines. Around 8000 sports persons will participate. 2000 media persons are likely to attend. Approximately 100,000 visitors are expected for the Games. The entire Games will be covered in High Definition Television. Television audience of two billion people across world will watch the Commonwealth Games.

  • New Media Rights such as Pay TV, Internet and telephony will ensure the widest possible reach. These Games will be Green Games promoting renewable energy Resources, reduction of carbon emissions and sustainable .development

Which are the sports that will be played in the Delhi Commonwealth Games?

Competitions will be held in seventeen sports -Aquatics, Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Rugby sevens, Shooting, Squash, Table Tennis, Tennis, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

What is the significance of Queen’s Baton Relay?

  • Queen’s Baton Relay is a very important tradition of the Commonwealth Games. It started in 1958 in Cardiff, Wales, and has since then been the curtain raiser to every Commonwealth Game,

  • Growing in scale and grandeur over the years and evolving to symbolize the unity and diversity of the Commonwealth of nations. The relay starts with a ceremony at Buckingham Palace where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II hands over the baton with her message to the players to the first relay runner. The relay ends at the opening ceremony of the games where the Queen’s message is read out. Initially the relay would visit only England and the host country, but since the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998, the relay has been moving through other member countries as well. The Melbourne 2006 Queen’s Baton Relay was the world’s longest, most inclusive relay. It visited all 71 member countries, traveling a distance of more than 180,000 km in a year and a day.

  • The Queen’ sBatonRelay20 1 0 Delhi started from Buckingham Palace on 29 October 2009 and will end 340 days later at the Opening Ceremony of the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi on 3 October 20 I O. During this period the baton will visit the home of one third of the world’s population and cover a distance of more than 190,000 kilometers. This marathon event will involve traveling for 240 days through the other 70 nation’s capital cities in India’s 28 states and seven union territories.

  • The Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi represents a fusion of handcrafted elements, precision engineered body, and intricate hand layered soil pattern. The shape and design of the baton is created using a triangular section of aluminum which has been twisted in the form of a helix and then coated with a diverse range of colored soils collected from all corners of India. Culminating at the pinnacle of the Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi is a precious jeweller box containing the Queen’s ‘message to the athletes’. Ancient Indian ‘patras’. Modern laser technology known as micro calligraphy has been used for the first time to reproduce the Queen’s message. The Baton also has the ability to capture sound and images, can record messages and is fitted with LED lighting and GPS system.

What do the Delhi Games mascot and emblem signify?

  • The logo of the Delhi Commonwealth games is inspired by the chakra, the symbol of freedom, unity and power. The upward spiral depicts India’s growth into a proud and vibrant nation powered by the coming and Play” is an invitation 1 all to let go of themselves are participate in the Games to tell best of their abilities, in the tn sprit of the Games. I It is also call to the people of India to pl2 the perfect hosts to the visitor:

  • Shera, the Games masc (represents the modern India He is an achiever with a positive attitude, a global citizen justifiably proud of his nation ancient heritage, a fierc competitor but with integrity and honesty. Shera is also a ‘large-hearted gentleman who loves making friends an enthusing people to ‘come out and play.

  • For the improvement of sports in the country corporate involvement <public private partnership> could be considered. For the involvement of corporate houses in the promotion and development of sports in the country National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was established in 1998.

Sports Doping Scandal

  • Background

    • Since CWG 2002 India has faced major embarrassment in international sports because of doping

    • Earlier it was rampant in weightlifting, now it has spread extensively to athletics as well

  • In July 2011, various athletes of the CW games were tested positive for drugs

  • Judicial committee has been setup

  • National Dope Testing Laboratory, New Delhi is accredited by WADA

  • Athletes, coaches and some sports authorities are equally responsible

  • What should be done

    • More doctors should be there in sports camp (Patiala)

    • WADA officials should visit more frequently

    • Should see how these drugs enter sport camps

    • Thorough probe and stiff penalties for those abusing the WADA code

    • Withdraw the rewards and awards from the offending athletes

Current Status

  • No doubt India lags behind many countries on the Olympic medal tally.

  • But it would be wrong to say that we as a nation have not made any progress since the Asian Games in 1982 Various stars like Tendulkar, Bhupati, Paes, Saina, V Anand, Pankaj Advani, Gagan Narang, Sushil Kumar, Vijender Singh

  • Amazingly improved performance at the CWG

  • At the same time, our moments of glory in the sporting arena have been rather few and far between, and we need to trudge uphill many miles before India can truly emerge as a sporting force to reckon with.

Economic Potential

  • PWC in 2010 predicted that the global sports market will be worth $141 bn by 2012.

  • Huge amount of money, glamour, name and face, media exposure and fan following have become an integral part of today’s sports

  • India offers a market with high growth economy, rapid rise in middle class with disposable income and sports content, and rapid growth in advertising as local and international companies target this lucrative, underdeveloped market

Challenges

  • Facilities/infrastructure

    • Sports clubs and academies are mainly in the metropolitan cities

    • Even in the metros, the facilities for sports training are very inadequate

    • Lack proper coaching facilities and properly equipped training centres to train students for national and international standards

  • Scholarships and support

    • Training in sports requires huge investment. This keeps sports as a restricted terrain, especially for the middle and low income groups

  • Sports being treated as an extracurricular thing and hence takes backseat. Overemphasis on academics

  • Discrimination between different kinds of sports. Some get more attention than others.

  • Sponsorship coming forth for only few sports leading to neglect of others

  • Drug use

Positives

  • Gradual turn around in attitude

  • Promotion of infrastructure is taking high priority now

  • Better performance at international level

Steps by the GoI

  • Sports Authority of India

  • National Sports Policy 2001

  • National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons

  • Scheme of State Sports Academy

  • PYKKA Scheme

  • Awards

  • National Sports Development Fund

    • To mobilise resources from the government sources including private/corporate sector and NRIs for promotion of sports and games

  • Provides assistance to National Sports Federations for conducting national championship and international tournaments, participation in tournaments abroad, organising camps etc

  • However

    • Schemes under the Min of Youth Affairs and Sports are restricted to the national levels and fail to promote state level sports enthusiasm

  • National Sports Championship for Women

    • National level competitions are preceded by holding of lower level competitions at block and district level for which state and UTs are provided financial assistance

What Should be Done?

  • Depoliticise sports bodies

  • Allow free use of sports stadia and facilities

  • Training in sports management

    • In US and several European countries sports management courses are being offered. Professional sports management companies have come up.

  • SAI should have sub-regional branches that would help it to bring out the best talent from the various corners of the country

  • State governments need to come to the forefront to set up such agencies at the state levels so that better talents can be tapped at the district level and can be promoted with proper training and guidance

  • Should promote regional sports like the Vallamkali in Kerala

  • Indoor games like TT, Carom, weightlifting, powerlifting, billiards and snooker etc need to be promoted further

  • Employ public private partnership for funding

  • Media should highlight the different kinds of sports to create and interest

  • More and more government funded academies should be opened where ex-sportsmen could be engaged in coaching students

  • Sponsor awards not only the national level but also at the district and the block levels

  • Sports law should be enacted

  • To check corruption, tenure caps and age restriction on office bearers of federation must be brought in

  • Misuse of authority must be severely dealt with

Need for Sports Law in India

  • The sporting world has seen a lot of scandals both at the national and international levels

  • Various legal issues are involved in the world of sports: Drug use, tort laws, laws on accountability, broadcasting rights

  • Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh already have laws on sports

  • Why is law needed?

    • The law should establish and promote rules of ethics and spirit of sportsmanship among competitors and the bodies involved in decision making

    • Contracts must clarify expectations and commitment from the players and agents

  • Control of sports bodies by politicians is offensive; more so is state Control.

  • Clause 6(1) of the Bill reads thus: “Every national sports federation shall, in collaboration with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and with the approval of the Central Government, develop a long-term development plan for a period of four years.”

  • Sports Federations will come under RTI

  • Age bar and tenure bar for presidents and members of the sports federation to be introduced through the bill.

Sports Bill 2011

  • Seeks to bring about accountability and transparency in administering of sports.

  • Aimed at bringing about efficiency and transparency in the working of the national sports federations and seeks to bring them under the purview of the RTI

    • Indian Olympic Association and BCCI strongly oppose bringing them under the RTI purview

  • The bill seeks to provide 25 percent reservation for sportspersons in the national federations and also fix the age and tenure limitations

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