It's not just the coaches Indian sportspersons need to be wary of, the under-qualified medical personnel are also a threat.
Take the example of Manjeet Singh. The 22-year-old boxer from Bhiwani tested positive for a banned substance last year and since then has been attending hearings of the anti-doping disciplinary panel in a struggle to prove his innocence.
It all started when Manjeet, who was part of the Commonwealth Games core group, met with a motorcycle accident in Patiala in May and suffered an injury on the back.
Dr Karan Singh, attached with the health centre at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala, prescribed soframycin as local application along with other medicines. But when the boxer went to the NIS medical centre, the staff applied clostagen as soframycin was out of stock. In early June, Mandeep was randomly tested by the National Anti-Doping Agency during the camp, and he tested positive for clostebol, a steroid, present in clostagen."I didn't have an idea that clostagen was on the dope list and it was only after failing the test that I got know about it," said Manjeet, who won bronze in the junior Asian and Senior Commonwealth Championships in 2007.
It wasn't only Manjeet who was treated with clostagen. Athlete Navpreet Singh was also administered the same ointment. (Photocopies of the medical centre's record book are in HT's possession). "Somehow, I managed to get the medical book photocopied and that is the only evidence I have to prove my innocence," said Manjeet.
The boxer appealed to the anti-doping disciplinary panel of NADA last year and has so far appeared in 12 hearings, out of which eight got cancelled.
"I don't know when the verdict will come, but each passing day is ruining by career," he said.
When contacted, Dr M Bhattacharya, head of the NIS medical centre, said, "When Manjeet's case happened I was not here, and I can't comment as the case is sub-judice. We will produce whatever records we have before the panel."