Organisers well prepared to nab dope-cheats

Last Updated 13 September 2010, 16:04 IST

Failed dope tests before any sporting event has almost become a routine and the clutch of positive cases is an indication that we will hear more of it before the Commonwealth Games end on October 14.

The Games authorities, however, are confident of nbbing dope-cheats. “We are working closely with National Anti-Doping Agency and also following all the instructions that WADA has laid out. I can say that we are fully prepared,” said Lalit Bhanot, Organising Committee Secretary General.

But even Bhanot will be aware that some athletes will be ready to travel that ‘extra yard’ to attain glory when the stakes are really high. Tales of Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, Floyd Landis and countless others remind us of that basic human nature to bend the rules for victory, turning a blind eye to the consequences.

Rahul Bhatnagar, Director General of NADA, agreed with the point while stressing that widespread awareness was needed to prevent the menace of doping.

“Some athletes think only about medals and will go to any extent to attain glory, including illegal ways like doping. But they have to be made aware that dope-testing facilities are very advanced and more often than not they will get caught in the act. If we find banned substance in an athlete’s body we count it as his/her responsibility,” Bhatnagar told Deccan Herald.

Easy availability of many substances in the market, Bhatnagar said, has made NADA’s task of combating doping all the more difficult. “We follow the list given by WADA. They include a substance in the banned list after careful examination and research and we also provide the list to athletes and coaches. But so many substances are available in market and it is tough to monitor each one of them,” he noted.

Bhatnagar said coaches have an important role to play in making an athlete aware of the dangers of adopting illegal ways to court success. “It’s true that many athletes find it tough to understand the complicated medical terms. But if he/she has the backing of the coach the menace of doping can be tackled to a large extent,” Bhatnagar said.

A senior Indian coach attributed the high number of dope cases to athletes’ desire for success and lack of awareness. “Many athletes come from small areas. Some of them are genuinely not aware of the dangers and some of them take shortcuts to success deliberately. So NADA need to conduct more awareness camps for them if they want to put an end to the menace,” the coach said from Patiala, where the national camps are in progress.

“It will be a good move to train athletes to go through the WADA website and periodically upgrade themselves about banned substances, testing methods and punishment for violating the rules,” he added.

The New Delhi lab getting accredtation from the World Anti-Doping Agency was an important step in the fight against doping in Indian sport. “I can say that NADA now has almost all the sophisticated methods and equipment to collect and test the samples. We have also started collecting blood samples of athletes and the process will gain momentum in the days to come,” Bhatnagar explained.So, will we see a dope-free CWG 2010?

(Published 13 September 2010, 16:04 IST)

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