Legendary Indian boxer MC Mary Kom has said some coached ought to be blamed for the ever-prevalent doping menace in the country as they lead athletes the “wrong way”.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the National Conference on Anti-Doping in New Delhi on Thursday, 31 January, the six-time world champion advocated bringing coaches under the ambit of anti-doping awareness training imparted by the national watchdog, NADA.
“Unfortunately, some coaches take their wards the wrong way. They take them to a different way.”MC Mary Kom
“We need to teach the coaches also. They will also have to be made aware, given training about the prohibited substances,” the 36-year-old said in the presence of sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
Coaches being hand-in-gloves with athletes in usage of banned substances to win medals and later financial rewards from the government is well known in Indian sport, but few have aired their views in public.
“Some athletes want everything immediately. They do not want to toil to achieve success and so they use these banned drugs. I am proud that I am a clean athlete throughout my career. This is because NADA people are after me all the time.”MC Mary Kom
While not losing her characteristic wit, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist stressed on the importance of consultation before taking even routine medicines.
“I ask my doctor whenever I have to take medicine for normal illness also. For even cold and viral fever, I ask my doctor because there may be components in these medicines which may be in the list of banned substances and they will enter my system,” said the mother-of-three, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP.
“My honour is most paramount and I have never ever thought of using drugs to perform better. That is why I have to be cautious and careful.”MC Mary Kom
Mary Kom’s suggestion is for NADA to conduct frequent surprise raids at national camps to clamp down on doping.
“There are a lot of supplements and injections these days. I think surprise raids and checks at national camps and to the rooms of the athletes can catch these dopers.
“When some Indian athletes are caught for doping in international events, it affects every athlete of the country. The whole country is embarrassed.”
Sports minister Rathore, on his part, said an athlete stands to learn or achieve nothing by winning a medal through doping.
“You can learn by losing and it is better to lose and learn something out of that instead of winning a medal though unfair means (doping). When you win a medal and know that you did by doping, you will not be able to stand in front of the mirror and see yourself.”Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
The 2004 Olympic silver medallist shooter also spoke about how he always remained on guard to prevent mishaps during his career.
“After I drink water from my bottle I would cover it with my finger, fearing that somebody may put something into it. Initially, I would use plastic bottles but later I would use glass bottles so that it is not possible to inject something into my water or drinks,” Rathore said.