With the Olympics just over the athletes, especially the medal winners, fit into three categories: the ones who were lucky to have won, the ones who won but were then caught for doping and the ones who defied all odds and human capabilities and really wowed the world. However, no matter which
category you fall into, for the outside world every medal winner makes one think, did they or did they not? The question is did they use substances that are banned on the WADA list, which we commonly call dope, steroids, juice etc.
The question is how prevalent has "dope" become and how reliant are athletes on these substances today? It is common knowledge that the doctors administering and creating "tailor made supplementation" programs are much ahead of the game.
Then there are the obvious dope ridden sports: weightlifting, athletics, cycling and gymnastics. But now there are sports that are not even based on strength and power turning to lab-made advantages.
There are a lot of Indian athletes who do some research and then start taking HGH and other supplements and think this will help them progress in their careers. These substances could do more harm than good. and the net result is that most completely ruin their careers for short-term gains.
There are a handful of doctors who work on very scientific plans. But it is not an easy group to get into. Firstly, these specialists are extremely hard to find and to get a tailor-made supplementation program doesn't come cheap.
After much searching, I managed to contact a doctor in the United States who guaranteed a cutting edge program with a guarantee of not getting caught for close to $500,000 per year.
In athletics, most of the top runners are on programs that are so scientific that they can't eat anything that is not on a list nor miss a single training session because it is all tied in to peak cycles. The athletes have to go through blood profiles and body compositions that measure every cell in their body and a supplementation program is made according to their bodies.
So as an administrator it is a tricky position, because while no one condones taking banned substances, sport has come to the point where you are probably cheating yourself if you are trying to compete without 'medical' help.
The writer is administrator, Mittal Champions Trust.
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