The organisers have tied up with SRL Limited to conduct age and dope verification tests of the participants and winners in all categories.
Commenting on the run, Samrata Diwan (Director-Communications) said: "We have a formal medical system in place where the winners/participants would be verified for age and dope testing. We want clean and fair sports at the grassroots level."
In the last edition, the top six in the U-18 age category were all found overage.
"It is a pity that last year 16-year olds were caught doping and the top six runners in the under-18 age group were all over-age. Many over-age students did not want these tests to be carried out on them and hence dropped out voluntarily. We want to inculcate a sense of pride and self-discovery in the next-generation through the inspirational power of running, more so to recognize the dignity of the human spirit," said Samrata.
Sanjeev Vashishta, CEO of SRL Diagnostics, echoing the sentiments of numerous parents who want their children to learn to win fair and square, said: "It is not simply endurance, but a sense of fair play too that is the hallmark of true champions. At SRL we believe that how you win counts too. Our screening tests can pick up the possible use of any unfair substances for performance enhancement."
This year's edition promises to be tougher as a challenging route has been defined and more children from rural areas,, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and the northeast, are expected to participate, cutting across all demographics.
Having entered the Limca Book of Records, the challenge before the organisers is how to repeat this template across India so that more children focus on good health and fair play thus creating a vast bank of budding athletes.
--IANS (Posted on 16-09-2013)