AUTHOR’S NAME - SONAKSHI BISHT
IMS UNISON UNIVERSITY, DEHRADUN
An earshot to the term Sports instinctively stimulate dopamine in human body. Over the years, India has loomed as a Sports hub and every so often hosted for national and international games. Sports like Cricket are worshipped like god and diverse sports are followed by the Indian Sportsmen. Sports is enumerated as a State subject matter under Schedule 7 of the Indian Constitution.
In India, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is accredited for the promotion of sports and ensures triumphing at several sporting events in both national and international level. Moreover, sports is governed by National Sports Policy, Sports Law and Welfare Association of India, Sports Authority of India, still there is dearth of sports legislation in India.
When laws are to be applied in any sports matter Labour law, Law of Torts, Contract law, Competition law, Intellectual Property Rights law are taken into consideration. With marvelous conquest in the Olympics and Commonwealth games India is still in a dire strait on account of doping, scams and scandals, match fixing, betting and various corrupted practices. Hence, these issues call for reforms in the Sports law in Indian legislation. This blog exhibits the present established sports bodies, restraints in sports field and the grave need for sports reforms.
NATIONAL BODIES TO GOVERN SPORTS LAW
If there is no sports legislation then how the sports matters are governed in India? Thereupon for that purpose various bodies are established at national level to deal with the emerging sports issues.
NATIONAL SPORTS POLICY, 2001
The National Sports Policy 2001 reformulated the National Sports Policy 1984. It defines the responsibilities of the several bodies that are involved in the promotion and development of sports in India. Furthermore, it pinpoints the eligibility of National Sports Federations for coverage under the guidelines, setting priorities and expounds the procedure to be followed by the federations for securing government assistance and sponsorship.
SPORTS AUTHORITY OF INDIA
The Sports Authority of India acts as the crest body that synchronizes number of sports activities that aims at promoting broad base sports in India. Moreover it administers implementation of academic programs, physical education awareness programs, scholarship schemes and ascertain that institutions have skilled coaches, physical education teachers.
SPORTS LAW AND WELFARE ASSOCIATION OF INDIA
It is a non-profit organization established at the national level for promoting, practicing, appreciating sports law in India. The association provides legal consultation via legal practitioners in any sports related issues, sport matters related to intellectual property rights and online advocacy in the legal disputes of sports on part of the sportsmen and the sports bodies.
The association targets at the reckoning and discussion of the issues and furnish a podium to the lawyers to represent the athletes, teams, educational institutions, leagues.
ISSUES IMPEDING SPORTS DOMAIN IN INDIA
Every plague is inflicted by varied causes, equivalently there are number of issues that are mortifying the sports in India.
In the Sporting field the use of drugs or specifically doping is the major cause of dismantling the sports both internationally and nationally. Doping is the process of consuming the prohibited drugs for excelling in sports performance and hence it is the exploiting factor in Indian sports. Many endeavors have been taken to suppress this problem as the establishment of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that conducts doping test, circulates awareness among people regarding the legal effects of doping.
Additionally, India has also constituted National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) liable for promoting and monitoring anti-doping programs in sports field but meagerly have been accomplished since its establishment which can be witnessed by India’s rank at 3rd in doping by WADA in the year 2021. Even in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games 2022 about 5 Indian players were tested positive in doping test.
Gambling, betting has grown persistent in all the sport events ranging from national to Olympics level that consequently turn into match fixing. The well-heeded class people are plausibly seen indulged in these practices. Betting somewhat is untroublesome but when it gets transfigured into match fixing it becomes pernicious. Not only it destructs the game but it murders the zeal and zest of the sport. Betting scandals in IPLs are an insight to it.
Corruption is entrenched in the sports administration in India. In 2010, India hosted the Commonwealth Games that turned out a scam of 70,000 crores conspired by Suresh Kalmadi who was then the Chairman of the organizing committee. Impecunious hotel services, unpleasant bus and metro services were provided to the sportspersons. It was not merely a scam but it brought ignominy to the whole nation.
LACK OF FUNDING
Knowing that the central government has increased the sports budget by ₹305.58 crores in the financial year 2022-23 feels extraordinary but on the contrary the funding to the Sports Authority of India has been deducted by 7 crore. Moreover India spends far less than that of USA and China despite showcasing glorifying demonstration in the international games and leagues.
SPORTS LAW REFORM: A PREREQUISITE IN INDIA
With the evolution of sports in India, rampant elevation in sport issues have been observed that call for a full-fledged sports legislation. Irrespective of the present national bodies governing sports there is lacunae in dealing with the plague like doping, betting, frauds, sexual harassment of women players. Besides, it’s not only that the reforms are needed just because of the issues in sports law but the astounding performance of India at the international games like Olympics, Commonwealth, Asian Games is soliciting for it too. In the lately finished Commonwealth Games, 2022 which proved prolific to India, it procured 4th position. Therefore, if there would be strict sports legislation the day is not far when India will surpass Australia, China, England.
Also, there is a cutthroat competition in sports that the sportsmen had to practice day and night, the wages are inadequate. Hence, they take the aid of illegal means to amplify their strength. Therefore, a rigid law is needed to enhance the conditions of the athletes.
Moreover, the necessitated law shall bring about the provisions to safeguard the rights of the sportsmen because the present national bodies get crumbled when it comes to the matters like Bronze medalist Divya Kakran in CWG, 2022 who was applauded by Arvind Kejriwal who did not even furnish any financial assistance to her.
In a crux complete enactment is an urgency which shall consist of the rights of the sportsmen, wages, penalties and punishment regarding betting, doping, scams, harassment which would make the sport fair and square in India.
In 20th century, sports is given equal connotation as education rather Indians are outshining more in sports. India’s blistered astonishing performance at the Commonwealth is precedent to it where it bagged 61 medals. Thus, when the sportsperson are elevating tricolor in the international games, the bare minimum that can be done is the enactment of an impregnable law which will not only uplift them but will bring victory to the nation.
The National Anti-Doping bill, 2021 has been passed by the Lok Sabha hence if become an Act will be advantageous to the sporting field. If more such strives are made, no force can halt India from becoming world champion.