Friday, July 08, 2011

my piece in firstpost.com regarding the doping scandal

jul 8th, 2011 CE

i have been, and continue to be, a fan of ashwini akkunji.


i'm pretty sure that the indian atheletes have been framed: as non carborundum said in a comment.

On the recent "doping scandal" that has hit Indian athletics. It's common knowledge that all athletic events' winners use banned substances, mainly anabolic steroids. It's just that the masking techniques used in the US, China and Europe are more advanced, so they do not get caught that easily. When our own athletes are caught, there is always this sanctimonious humbugging that's thrown left, right and centre by couch potatoes who wouldn't dream of putting their bodies on the line for the country. This sort of criticism is no less than treachery in my view. Unfortunately, no one really cares.


1 comments:

Non Carborundum said...

Rajeev, your article has the right spirit.

Some years back, shuttler Aparna Popat took D’Çold tablets and was not allowed to participate in an event as the contents of this over-the-counter medication were banned substances as well. Clearly, we do not have any semblance of a decent doping programme if such things can happen.

I think the more likely scenario is that Indian athletes are being selectively targeted in periods when substances are detectable in the blood. From what I understand, they enter the masking stage when they're to compete. This targeting is possible only when we have our own bunch of overzealous snitches keen on turning in our own countrymen:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Raid-on-chemist-shops-opposite-NIS-Patiala/Article1-718158.aspx

Steroid use has evolved from empiricism based on usages by bodybuilders and athletes, to scientific technique. There are books that describe in detail the best steroids/hormones to use and masking techniques. There are multiple internet forums on which these things are discussed day in and day out:

http://www.amazon.com/Steroid-Bible-Steve-Gallaway/dp/1890342009

http://www.steroids.ro/e-books/chemical-muscle-enhancement.html

http://www.health24.com/fitness/Diet_Supplements/16-481-513,20910.asp

My interest in this started when Ben Johnson was "busted" in 1989 and others like Carl Lewis, who were mediocre in comparison and uncaught, started preaching. The problem was clear then that this is going to turn into a long war between advances in doping and in detection techniques:

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/05/27/sports/olympics-substances-can-mask-steroids-doctor-says.html

I say, either don't have athletic events or allow substance use. Any other way, it is a farce. And don't blame the poor Ukranian coach or even Kalmadi and Bhanot. They wanted to deliver results in a rigged game.