SAG players prone to respiratory illness, say docs

Urine samples taken for doping test to be sent to Doha

Kathmandu, November 30

The players participating in the 13th South Asian Games are prone to injuries, muscular skeletal problems, respiratory illnesses and diarrhoea, according to doctors.

“The players are also likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses. As the weather in Kathmandu is changing it will have adverse impact on players’ heath. There is warm temperature during the afternoon but the temperature drops in the evening. Such change in weather can lead to common cold,” said Dr Ajaya Rana, coordinator of the Health Committee at the 13th South Asian Games.

“The players are at risk of suffering from injuries, sprain, fractures, cramps and similar muscular skeletal health problems,” said Dr Rana.

To provide medical support to players, a total of 350 health practitioners, including doctors, physiotherapists, health assistants and nurses, are on standby. Likewise, a total of 37 hospitals, both private and government, in Kathmandu are  ready for emergency situation.

“We have a medical team with an ambulance at the sporting venues. Mobile medical teams will be on duty for medical treatment of players at sporting venues and hotels where the players are staying. The main medical centre was set up at Dasharath Stadium two weeks ago,” added Rana.

Also a mass management disaster team has been formed under the coordination of Health Emergency Operation Centre of the Ministry of Health and Population for medical intervention in emergency situation.

“Taking care of players health is our top priority. It is our ethical and professional duty. The medical team will intervene when the referee calls for help or it can even intervene without a call from the referee when there is suspicion of sudden cardiac arrest of the player/s. It is necessary to intervene in such situation as there is very less time to save the player’s life,” added Rana.

Besides medical check-up, players will have to make themselves available for doping test. The urine samples will be sent to Anti-doping Lab Qatar, Doha.

“We don’t have such a laboratory here in Nepal for anti-doping tests. The laboratory needs to be accredited by World Anti-doping Agency,” said Dr Saroj Krishna Shrestha, anti-doping chief at SAG.

There are only 31 laboratories accredited by the World Anti-doping Agency to conduct human doping control sample analysis across the world.

Everyone, including gold medallists, silver or bronze medallists or anyone who has lost the game will have to take doping test. “These tests could be done at anytime and anywhere without prior information to the players,” said Dr Shrestha.

The players usually take steroids to enhance their performance, increase their muscle masses.

Urine is collected as test sample. These samples will be sent to Doha and the reports will be available after 10 days. “We are not collecting blood samples as they need to be tested within 24 hours which is not possible for us,” said Dr Shrestha.

The anti-doping committee will conduct anti-doping test on at least 150 players.

There are 12 Nepali doping experts along with doping experts from Maldives, Bangaladesh and Sri Lanka, Bhutan. The team also includes 22 trained chaperones and 46 volunteers.