NIS Patiala to demerge from SAI after doping scandal

New Delhi: The country`s premier sports institute, NIS Patiala has been demerged from the Sports Authority of India in the wake of the athletics doping scandal, Sports Minister Ajay Maken announced on Wednesday.

Maken said that the NIS Patiala will now be made an autonomous `Institution of National Importance` with the aim to produce better home coaches and thereby reducing the dependence on foreign experts like the Ukrainian Yuri Ogrodnik whose six wards were caught for doping.

"We have decided to demerge National Institute of Sports Patiala from the SAI and make it an Institution of National Importance. The primary role for NIS would be producing world class and qualified coaches for various sporting disciplines rather than the currently prevalent, dominant role of holding training camps for athletes," Maken told a press conference here.

"We have been overdependent on foreign coaches for long.

We need to rectify that and the NIS Patiala should play that role of producing better Indian coaches. By doing that we can minimise incidents like the one that happened with the Ukrainian coach regarding the recent doping in athletics," the minister said, referring to Yuri Ogrodnik.

Eight athletes, including double Asian Games gold-medallist Ashwini Akkunji, tested positive for anabolic steroids and six of them were training at NIS when they were caught.

Maken, however, maintained that the decision to demerge NIS from SAI was mooted two months back but the doping scandal involving eight top track and field athletes had hastened it.

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