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Vijay Goel wants to make doping a criminal offence

Utkarsh Bhatla

While sport gives the purest form of joy for the players and the onlookers, it does have a dark side to it as well. The pressure of performing well at the international level gets to a few athletes and they indulge in dark practices like doping in order to come out on top.

Doping and match fixing are two avenues that players explore in order to cheat the system. While the former is used to improve performance, the latter is used to increase bank balance.

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Sporting federations all over the globe try and work ways in order to curb both these ‘fallacies’ in sport, but Vijay Goel feels that a little more needs to done, especially in order to reduce the doping scandals.

Goel, the Sports Minister wants to make doping a criminal offence, in order to instil fear in the minds of anyone who indulges in it. Ban from the sport is not a good enough punishment for dopers.

“We are trying to make doping a criminal offence, so that fear is instilled in the players and they restrain from getting involved in such practices,” said Goel.

“We are planning to take signatures of the players, besides showing them films on doping and basically educating and spreading awareness about it,” he added.

Tons of athletes are being caught for doping at the school and national level, and hence Goel feels that a new anti-doping scheme needs to be formulated at that level of sport.

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“I think at least those who win medals at the school and college levels should be tested for dope.” he said.

Goel also added that none of the SAI centres across the country were in great shape and needed restructuring.

“Whenever I get a chance, I visit various SAI centres in the country but in most of them, I have found coaches to be not up to the mark. I have asked all SAI coaches to undergo medical and fitness examinations and will take action based on their reports.”

“We are working closely with the NSFs. I hold regular meetings with them and are looking at ways to improve the facilities for the players. But, at the same time, we have to ensure transparency and accountability of these NSFs.” he concluded

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