Although the world anti-doping body, WADA hasn’t given a diktat to criminalize doping in sports across the world, it stirs up a considerable debate in the sporting fraternity, with a strong undercurrent running against its criminalization. Criminalizing doping in sports is not a cakewalk for the authorities, as it is seen as a necessary evil by many. WADA is still exercising restraint, leaving it to respective nations to enforce it as law. The onus lies on respective governments across nations to make it a law and ensure that their athletes abide by it.
Doping in sports is a primitive vice
Doping in sports is not new. It is a menace that runs through the sinews in sports, not only in modern times but, since time immemorial. Several written references are available about Greek athletes eating certain kinds of food they believed substantially increased their testosterone level. In the Olympics Games, as early as in the third century, athletes used to consume mushrooms to enhance their performances. However, it was still a vice, even in the past, as athletes, when caught, were ostracized and barred from participating in subsequent events. Some even faced life-bans.
The predicament in modern times is no different. Steroids, human growth hormones, peptide hormones, insulin, diuretics, and any more, it is a long list of banned substances that athletes use to enhance their performances in the sporting arena. Hence, there is an outcry to criminalize doping in sports.
India not yet ready to criminalize doping, says Kanthi D Suresh
While most nations in the world are almost ready with their blueprint to enact laws that would see doping in sports as a criminal offense, India, on the contrary, is far from ready to handle doping as a criminal offense, says Kanthi D. Suresh, Editor-in-chief of Power Sportz.
In the latest episode of ‘Talking Turkey with Kanthi’— the flagship program of the channel— helmed by Kanthi D. Suresh, she mentioned that India’s anti-doping body is under-equipped to handle doping in sports or enacting it as a law to restrain athletes.
The show went live on Friday night. An interesting sports debate show, Talking Turkey with Kanthi regularly hosts seasoned sports journalists and legal experts who bring along with them great insights and intriguing facts on sports, apart from connecting with sportstars, celebrities, and sports experts via phone-ins during the show. Every episode is a drool for viewers as Kanthi goes about not only holding court but conducting the show in a most animated way probing some of the most critical issues on sports.
The Friday night’s show revealed that it is a precipice NADA is facing while trying to make doping in sports a criminal offense in India. NADA is not only facing a fierce obstruction as it tries to implement the “National Anti-Doping Act of India 2018,” it is not even well-equipped to criminalize doping. Although NADA paints a rosy picture that sports doping is gradually decreasing in India, Kanthi questions the veracity of their data in the show. She also raised the pertinent issue of a potential doping nexus in the country.
Awareness holds the key
While vehemently disparaging doping in sports, among Indian athletes, she also quipped, “we are not in a stage to criminalize doping.” She felt, that India doesn’t have “the ability to even handle the aspects of criminalization.” The only way forward, according to Kanthi is “more education, more awareness, a fair amount of character and integrity to ensure we have clean sports in India.” The debate show concluded that India is not ready to conduct fair dope tests, and hence it is a long road before ‘criminalizing doping in sports’ sees the light of the day.