Boosting fingerprints to end athletic fraud

NEW DELHI: The Athletics Federation of India ( AFI ) collect traces of thousands of incipients Athletes when a trip starts on saturday, looking to end up rampant old fraud in the sport. Some 2000 Athletes are expected to undergo bio-metric tests during the five-day 35th National Junior Athletics championships, starting in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh on Saturday.

The Athletes would be handed permanent bio-metric cards with a permanent AFI unique ID and a QR code. The card will contain all their details, including date of birth and address.

AFI expects the cards to serve more purpose. The AFI president ( Adille Sumariwalla ) has been very vocal against age-fraud and doping. This will help us check old fraud , duplicity and reduce the age verification process," Nitin Arya, AFI 's manager, operations and competition, told TOI. " AFI aims to register every athlete at the grassroots level so that they are not able to change their date of birth in the future."

Age-fudging has plagued athletics in India for long. In fact, AFI had decided in July to hold state associations secretaries responsible if their Athletes were found to be overage.

Under the new drive, the Athletes will have to register themselves on the AFI website with date of birth proof, photo ID proof and address proof. "Then we will issue an AFI unique ID. After the age verification committee physically checks all Athletes , AFI will issue bio-metric cards. If there is any suspicion of anyone using fake certificates to fudge his/ her age, we will do a bone x-ray to determine the actual age," Arya added.

"Gradually this will cover the senior Athletes ."

AFI is also expecting the cards to help in the fight against doping. "The card will have details of an athlete's participation in different events. It will also maintain the Athletes ' doping antecedents, if any. All details of Athletes will be available at just one click."