'Give power to regional heads'

Doping menace has brought nation immense shame, says Mudgal

“The doping menace has brought immense shame to the nation,” Mudgal, who has been appointed by the Union Government to probe the issue, told reporters on Wednesday. “It has damaged our credibility in the international sporting world. We’ve got a lot of repair work to do and I will do my best in finding a solution.

“If we need to eliminate drugs then more power needs to be granted to the directors of regional SAI centres. The general problem is decision making, which is very slow here in India. All government authorities have budgetary constraints and rules to follow.

Sometimes the rules can hinder quick decision making. The regional heads must be given powers to make decisions,” added Mudgal.

Mudgal’s suggestion was also backed by Southern Centre Director G Kishore, who said until such a thing happens it is very difficult to moot out doping. “This visit by Justice Mudgal has brought great relief to me. We’ve been working so hard to produce athletes and whenever a he/she fails a test, the blame is put on SAI. “Justice Mudgal and his teams inspected the entire campus and met all the athletes, coaches and support staff who expressed their grievances. One suggestion I would like to make is create statutes to protect us. It easy to blame us but one needs to understand our shortcomings as well,” added Kishore. Mudgal said he had short-term measures and long-term goals.

“Apart from probing the doping fiasco, I am here to suggest measures to improve our sporting infrastructure. We need to visit more centres to arrive at a complete consensus. The main problem right now is lack of awareness.

“Everyone concerned in the administration of sports must be educated on the positives and negatives of drug usage. For short-term gain he will ruin his entire career. Ben Johnson is the name that immediately creeps into my mind,” added the retired Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Mudgal said India needs to invest in improving sports science if it desires to become competitive globally. “If we want to become a world power, we need to have world-class facilities. Most cheating starts at the junior level (for example age fraud). We need to make sure our juniors are nurtured and taught well.”

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