Last Updated: Feb 09, 2024
Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur today said that a threefold surge in the sports budget, from around 864 crore rupees in 2014 to over 3000 crore rupees has been achieved. Mr. Thakur said this while virtually inaugurating the Centre for Excellence in Nutritional Supplements Testing situated in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The centre has been established under the purview of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), the Food Safety Standards Authority of India and the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU). Mr. Thakur emphasized the pivotal role of such testing institutions in promoting fair play and athlete welfare. The Minister stressed the importance of maintaining integrity in sports, urging athletes to ‘play safe, play clean, and play fair.’ Mr. Thakur said that the Government has made massive efforts to provide state-of-the-art facilities, a conducive environment for training and developmental opportunities for Indian athletes. He further added, that the government’s Khelo India initiative is sowing the seeds of India’s strides in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Highlighting India’s commendable performance in mega sporting events including the Olympics, Paralympics and Asian Games, Mr. Thakur underscored the collective responsibility to combat doping and ensure a level playing field for all athletes. Expressing concern over harmful supplements jeopardizing the health of athletes, he called upon stakeholders to raise awareness and collaborate in fostering a conducive environment for sports excellence.
Speaking on the occasion, Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi emphasized that the Centre of Excellence will play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of athletes by rigorously testing food items. She further highlighted that this initiative would bolster the sports sector’s capabilities and help in positioning India as a hub for testing facilities.
Talking exclusively to Akashvani News, Director of NFSU, Gujarat, Professor. S.O. Junare delineated the features and importance of the testing centre.