doping menace

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Apr 2018 12:01:56

IT IS SMALL consolation that India has improved its position in the world in the matter of incidence of doping among the country’s sportspersons. That the country had the dubious distinction of being placed at the third spot in the world among countries with bad doping record for three consecutive years, from 2013 to 2015, was certainly a matter of concern for those associated with sporting activities in the country. The country can breathe somewhat easy now that it has improved its rank from the third position to sixth position this year. But it still competes with notoriously placed Russia, which was staring into the prospects of being banned from Olympic events. Hence there is much scope to improve the situation further.

That India has improved its standing from the third to sixth position in the world is indicative of efforts taken by the sports authorities of the country. But there is no scope for resting on these laurels as any laxity could push the country back to where it was previously. Thus it should be a continuing mission to ensure dope-free sports activity in the country. This responsibility squarely rests on the authorities governing various sports bodies, the coaches, team managers, individual players and team members, collectively.

It is the collective responsibility of all the stakeholders to ensure that sportspersons desist from the temptation of using performance enhancing drugs. It must be made known to all sportspersons that resort to banned substances and drugs is cheating of fellow participants and hence unethical. When this unethicality is exposed it brings shame, not only to the individual player and the team to which he or she belongs, but it also sullies the image of the nation at an international stage.

The latest example of such a stigmatic exit of two Indian athletes was when during the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, they were asked to leave the games village on the ground that syringes were found in their bags. Though the Indian authorities present there denied any wrong-doing by the duo, the episode, nevertheless left a scar on the entire Indian contingent present there. Why the Indian authorities did not contest the decision of the Commonwealth Games organising committee is an enigma.
While the two Indian athletes’ case may be genuine, it is also true that in many cases such incidents take place due to lack of awareness about rules and regulations and knowledge about banned substances. In such cases it is the responsibility of coaches and managements to make sportspersons aware of regulations. Ignorance has no place in the stringent books of World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) and very rightly so.