If you thought breath analysers were only meant for catching drunk drivers, think again. And if you thought alcohol could never be a performance-enhancer for sportspersons, you are horribly wrong!
For the first time during the Delhi Commonwealth Games, besides inebriated motorists, archers will be tested for alcohol through a breath analyser.
According to World Anti-Doping Agency, archers are a select few who are banned from drinking because alcohol is considered a performance-enhancer in their sport. The permissible limit for archers is 0.10gm per litre compared to .35g per litre for motorists.
"We have acquired breath analysers and will use them to detect offenders in archery," explained Munish Chander, deputy director general, doping control with the CWG Organising Committee. "Alcohol in desired quantities helps archers to steady nerves and improve levels of concentration. It is banned internationally."
Cjander adds, "This is for the first time that archers will go through such a test on Indian soil," said Chander.
Indian archers, however, said they never had to depend on alcohol to steady their hands. According to national coach Limba Ram, alcohol does not help archers boost their performance. "I have heard players abroad take limited doses of alcohol on advice of their coaches to help soothe their nerves. But it doesn't happen in India."
"During competition an archer has to draw and watch the flag to know when the wind has stopped and release at that particular moment. I don't think someone who's taken alcohol would be in a position to synchronise that," said Limba Ram.
As for the collection of samples (urine and blood), it will start from the day the Games Village opens to, September 23.