For all practical purposes, India has been hit by an epidemic of doping among sportspersons.
On Monday, a star athlete, Ashwini Akkunji, and runner Priyanka Panwar tested positive for anabolic steroids hours before leaving for a championship in Japan.
This is the eighth such instance since the past month. The fact that the country’s medallists have tested positive is a blow to a discipline in which India has excelled since the days of P.T. Usha.
This is clearly not just an issue of delinquent sportspersons consuming performance enhancing substances on their own. The matter is systemic: from coaching institutes to sporting federations, our authorities have been found sleeping on dope watch when the sporting world has little tolerance for cheating of this kind. India, it seems, is yet to be sensitized to this problem.
It’s high time India’s sports administrators stopped slumbering.