Indian boxers want to be educated on perils of doping

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NEW DELHI - Seven Indian boxers won medals at the Commonwealth Games and they feel the sport will prosper more if they get adequate medical knowledge to keep themselves away from the menace of doping.

The boxers, who won three gold and four bronze medals at the Delhi Games, felt doping is a menace in all sports and it is imperative that they were educated on the critical subject.

“There are times when you don’t know what substance you are taking. I will be very happy if more attention is paid towards educating budding boxers on medication,” star boxer and Olympics bronze medallist in 75kg, Vijender Singh told IANS.

Boxers said the doctors are there with them during training, but at times they do not have answers to their dope-related queries.

“One small mistake unknowingly can ruin a boxer’s career. At present, we have no knowledge about what to drink or eat as athletes. The doctors are there, but there are times they have no answers for certain queries,” said Jai Bhagwan, who won a bronze at the Games in the 60kg category.

Amandeep Singh, who got a bronze in the lightweight 49kg category said medical classes should be organised so that the boxers exactly know which drug is banned and which is not.

“We go out there and fight. The other important things like consuming the permitted supplements are something we are never told about. If the medical classes are held for us during training, it will give us a clear picture as to what we are supposed to have as athletes,” said Amandeep.

Currently, there are eight coaches and 40 boxers training in Patiala, but boxers said it will be better if the team gets more coaches to train with.

“We have boxers competing in 10 categories. The movements of a boxer in lightweight categories differ from the one in heavyweight. Our two main coaches are extremely knowledgeable and helpful, but we need more assistant coaches who can concentrate on other issues,” said Bhagwan.

G.S. Sandhu is the chief coach and Cuban BI Fernandez is the foreign coach of the Indian team.

However, Feranadez said there is no need for deploying more coaches as there are enough already.

“We have enough coaches to give time to the boxers. What we actually need is more overseas trips for training and competition. And with the Commonwealth Games over and the Asian Games coming up, we need more international tournaments. I hope the government continues to extend its support even after the two back-to-back multi-discipline events so that we can win more medals at the Olympics,” said Fernandez.

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