MUMBAI: Union Minister for Sports, M.S. Gill, re-emphasised the government’s steps to make Indian sportspersons dope-free in international competitions.
“The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and the setting up of a National Dope-Testing Laboratory approved by WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) are major steps in that direction,” he said, after inaugurating a synthetic athletics track at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Kandivli Centre.
“India should be winning 50 Olympics medals, I have repeatedly stated that in talks across the country. I also don’t mind none; I don’t want to win by cheating.”
The doping panel has been re-cast, the Sports Minister said, into doctors/pharmacologists on one hand and legal experts on the other.
Gill sympathised with sportspersons and asked coaches, managers and others to be careful when taking decisions affecting sporting careers.
“Educating young trainees, like those attached to SAI centres, about doping is critical. Pamphlets in simple language should be circulated to youngsters so they can understand how medicines taken for other causes can create problems in drug tests.”
Prominent sportspersons Anjali Bhagwat, Dhanraj Pillay, Kamlesh Mehta, Monalisa Mehta, Cawas Billimoria, Uday Pawar, Diana Eduljee, to name a few, were present.
The Sports Minister announced the decision to lay 21 synthetic hockey turfs and 20 training hockey turfs all over the country.
“The training turfs as I call them will be smaller than those used for competitions and players will benefit by training on them and become familiar with the feel of turf hockey.”
Responding to a query about the Sports Ministry’s stand on the postponement of the senior National hockey, he pointed out that the March 2 event at Pune was postponed due to legal issues.
He ruled out the Ministry intrusion into the federations functioning, when asked about battles within the hockey establishment having an adverse impact on the game.
Gill wanted state governments to take firm steps for continued use of stadiums and other infrastructure facilities created for major events using government funds.