Sullying India’s Image
Instead of being known as a sporting nation, India is close to be regarded as a ‘doping nation’. According to the latest report of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), India is in third place after Russia and Italy for violations of anti-doping rules. WADA report further points out that India has been found guilty for violations of doping rules in 152 cases, only fifteen cases less than top-placed Russia. The report comes as an embarrassment for the Indian sporting fraternity, especially at a time when the country has won its first-ever Olympic Gold in track & field events. At the same time, weeks before the report was published, the Indian Parliament passed a stringent bill aimed to curb the use of drugs in sports. But the report by the anti-doping agency highlights the fact that doping is rampant in Indian sports and without any proper checking mechanisms, the menace is growing at an alarming rate in the country. If the situation continues unabated, it may eventually bring the curtain down on Indian sports, shattering the dreams of thousands of budding sportspersons.
To avert such a situation, it’s time to work on a war-footing as India has been consistently finding a place on the dubious list for nearly a decade now. As a matter of fact, 17 per cent of all doping violations took place in India in 2019. Thus, the authorities should not wash their hands by only framing rules; it should also ensure proper adherence to the rules by all concerned. The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) should be made more effective so that no one can skip mandatory doping tests as per international norms. There is also an urgent need to educate sports persons further. More often than not, it has been found that some coaches and other officials have been taking advantage of sportspersons’ ignorance by giving them performance enhancing drugs. So, along with the sportspersons, the role of officials too should be brought under the scanner to prevent the misuse of drugs in sports.
Sports is important for character building as it teaches us the value of discipline, hard work and togetherness, other than keeping the body fit. A true sportsman will never indulge in underhanded means to achieve glory. For a long period, India was popular for its sporting behaviour all over the world and India is an important part of the Olympic movement. As a matter of fact, it was India which organised the first-ever Asian Games in 1951. Since then, India has so far hosted two Asian Games and the 2010 Commonwealth Games and is now preparing to make a bid for future summer Olympics. But all these achievements will come to naught if India continues to violate doping rules. Already, the number of such violations has put India on the back foot. The situation should not be allowed to worsen further, rather a loud and clear message should be given to all that no one will be allowed to defame sports and as well as the nation under any pretext.