welcome step

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 May 2018 11:52:38

EMBARRASSED at the recent Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, following expulsion of two Indian athletes for alleged discovery of needles in their room, the Athletics Federation of India’s (AFI) decision to adopt a strict ‘no needle’ policy is welcome. Thus, the AFI has become the first apex sports body to implement the policy. As part of this decision, the AFI has prepared an elaborate note, to be widely circulated among all athletes training at various camps and training centres across the country. That the AFI is serious about implementing its decision becomes clear from the fact that it has also put in place a mechanism to strictly monitor players for which a three-member committee of coaches will be authorised to search the rooms of the athletes. Thus the responsibility of monitoring the decision in its letter and spirit is placed on the designated committee of coaches.

It was a sour news for India at the Australian Commonwealth Games when two of its athletes were ordered to leave the games village for discovery of needles in their room even while Indian sportspersons were blazing various fields with their medal-winning performances. It was indeed an embarrassing situation for the Indian officials. Then there came a report soon after the Gold Coast embarrassment that India stood sixth in violation of drug abuse norms. In the light of this it was necessary for all the sports federations in the country to take corrective measures to improve the situation and make the sportspersons aware of the consequences of drug abuse at international level.

Russia has earned the dubious distinction of large scale drug abuse by its athletes who have been identified and have been banned on a wholesale scale, so much so that Russia faced the prospect of being disqualified from participation in any Olympic level international event. The dark shadow of drug abuse by its sportsmen also looms large over the hosting of the forthcoming soccer World Cup. In order to avoid India facing such a dreadful situation, it is necessary that all sports bodies devise their own methods to stop drug abuse by their sportspersons.
As rightly said by President of the Athletics Federation of India Mr. Adille Sumariwalla, there should be zero tolerance for drug abuse, unless there is a genuine reason for an athlete to use the needle on health grounds. But even in such case the use of needle would be permitted under supervision of the federation’s doctor or the team doctor. Such strict measures have become necessary as many international sportspersons have been exposed for using performance enhancing drugs and hence have been divested of their medals and honours. It is the responsibility of sports bodies to end the menace of drug abuse.