welcome step

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 21 Jan 2019 12:03:17

the Athletic Federation of India (AFI) has taken a welcome step to stem the menace of drug abuse by athletes. The draft ‘No Needle Policy’ proposes a maximum of two-year ban for athletes found with or using needles. Obviously the Athletic Federation is concerned over athletes taking recourse to drugs for enhancing their performances. India had to face the ignominy of two of its athletes being sent out of their camps and back home from the Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast, Australia as their baggages contained needles. Whole of Russian sports field is under cloud as the International Olympic Council is mulling a large scale ban on their teams and sportspersons because of unearthing of drug abuse on a massive scale. By proposing the new ‘No Needle Policy’ the Indian Athletic Federation wants to ensure that such an ignominy does not befall the country’s athletes at any international meet and take preventive measures so that there is no temptation among athletes to take recourse to drugs for bettering their performances at higher level of international competition. 

One more notable feature of the draft ‘No Needle Policy’ is that even coaches and and other support staff will be made accountable for any misdemeanour by an athlete, whether during training camps or outside. Thus the coaches would be made accountable for their charges’ behaviour either during training or competitions, whether in the course of domestic tournaments or at international meets.

Such action would be taken suo mottu by the Athletic Federation without waiting for Government agency the National Anti-Dopping Agency (NADA) to step in. Thus the action against an erring athlete would be prompt and with immediate effect. Of course the new policy does give the concerned athlete the opportunity to approach arbitration authority to put his side. Thus the AFI wants to ensure that no undue unfairness is caused to the affected person.

Drug abuse is not confined to athletics alone. It is almost all pervasive in various sports and not a typically Indian problem either. As stated earlier entire Russian sports has come under scrutiny of international sports bodies and the World Anti-Dopping Agency (WADA) with the prospect of ban being imposed on many of their sports bodies. Drug abuse for enhancing performance is an unethical practice which inflicts injustice on fellow competitor by taking recourse to unfair means which is akin to resorting to copy in an examination for getting into the merit list. Sports is an embodiment of transparency, uprightness, commitment to character, fairness and many more virtues. Drug abuse should not be allowed to cloud that spirit.