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In dismal scenario, players tutored on how to stay safe

cricket Updated: Sep 17, 2013 01:33 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times
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It seems even the lives of domestic cricketers who haven’t made a mark yet are getting tough. Thanks to the recent scandals, spot-fixing and doping, they’ll have to walk a tightrope, and be wary of what they eat or who they meet.

Following a season full of drama, BCCI’s anti-doping and anti-corruption units have begun visiting various venues, advising them on the dos and don’ts.

On Monday, it was Delhi’s turn, and 20-25 players attended the session. Among the instructions they were given was to strictly avoid ayurvedic and homoeopathic medicines, food supplements, random medicines and even temple offerings given for bringing luck.

“You don’t know if these may contain substances banned by the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA). The food supplement industry is unregulated. There is no food supplement company approved by the WADA. If any claims otherwise, it is lying,” said former SAI sports medicine director, Dr PS Chandran, who handled the session on doping.

No wonder senior Delhi player Rajat Bhatia is worried. “It’s a bit unclear. Our trainers (at IPL and elsewhere) recommend these protein supplements. The general practitioners we often visit are also not so informed. In the end, we’ll have to call these guys for everything we consume.”

Delhi pacer Pradeep Sangwan tested positive two months back, apparently due to a pain-killer he took for his shoulder.

The cricketers were even taught, via video presentation, how to collect their urine sample and pour into the bottle. “We have seen that players often get nervous and can’t pass urine in front of a chaperon. The best way is to get friendly with him and relax,” added Chandran.

The anti-doping and anti-corruption units have also set up 24x7 helplines.

Stay isolated
The players have also been told to be wary of what they say, write or who they meet. Anti-Corruption Unit officer, Anshuman Upadhyay, told them to be careful of everyone around them, even their closest friends, relatives and agents.

Bets can be placed even on minor information like wearing sunglasses or a player’s health, so “avoid putting any information on social networking sites and mentioning it,” he said.“The betting industry in India is run illegally, often by criminal elements, so it can be dangerous. Avoid any offer, even for a lunch or drive.”