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In a major step in its fight against doping, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) today said that the country will have its first Athlete Passport Management Unit (APMU) to handle the administrative management of Biological Passports. There are only 11 APMUs recognised by the WADA all over the world while India does not have one till now. The NADA said that it will constitute a group of experts in related subjects for Athlete Biological Passport Management. "The details of the implementation will be discussed with the experts, and Athlete Passport Management Unit shall be created which will analyse test reports on a longitudinal basis and submit specific recommendations to NADA," the country's anti-doping watchdog said. The NADA said that it will plan the implementation of the ABP haematological module for continuous evaluation and monitoring of the athlete biological data. The data generated through the blood testing will help in detecting any possible use of prohibited substances or prohibited methods. The objective of having Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) is to monitor selected variables ('biomarkers of doping') over time that indirectly reveal the effect of doping, as opposed to the traditional direct detection of doping by analytical doping controls. According to WADA website, ABP is currently composed of two modules -- Haematological and Steroidal.
Haematological Module considers a panel of biomarkers of blood doping that are measured in an athlete's blood sample. The Steroidal Module considers a panel of biomarkers of steroid doping measured in an athlete's urine sample. Meanwhile, the NADA conducted a one-day symposium on Athlete Biological Passport Management with experts from various medical institutions mainly from AIIMS, Safdarjung and RML Hospital. NADA Director General Navin Agarwal mentioned the importance of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) and need for implementation. Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas also spoke about the need for measures in place for the testing and also providing a better environment for athletes about regulations. "Clean athletes would be facilitated if biological passports are created, wherever they go for international events," the NADA said.