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Supplements missing from athletes’ diet

india Updated: Apr 11, 2009 23:11 IST
Saurabh Duggal

Despite a colossal Rs 700 crore being spent by the Sports Ministry to prepare athletes for the Commonwealth Games, certain important details seem to have been overlooked. Like food supplements for example.

For each core-group camper, the ministry has sanctioned Rs 550 per day for diet, including Rs 200 for food supplements. But for the past two months, the national campers have not been getting food supplements.

A source in the Sports Ministry said the fault lies with it as fresh tenders for providing food supplements have not yet been finalised.

“Our players have not got any food supplements for two months and it has been clearly mentioned in the camp letter that all core-group members will get supplements worth Rs 200 daily and a diet of Rs 350 per day from the first day of the camp,” said a wrestling coach.

“The women’s core group camp began on January 10 at NIS, Patiala, and we got food supplements only for the first 30 days. These too did not meet the requirement of players and would not have cost more than Rs 50 per person as against Rs 200 sanctioned by the government. We had raised the issue twice at steering committee meeting,” added the coach.

Food supplements are an essential requirement for top athletes, especially in weightlifting, wrestling, athletics and boxing.

“We don’t get all the proteins and nutrition from our regular intake, so we require food supplements. That helps us to take more load and recover fast. As the SAI does not provide supplements in our daily diet, we have to shell out money from our pockets,” said a weightlifter.

“The players who are financially sound buy their own supplements. But, not everyone has the means to buy them,” said a weightlifting coach.

The weightlifting camp began February 20 at NIS and till date, they have not got any food supplement. The same is the case with boxing and athletics.

“In January, SAI gave Revital capsules and other multi-vitamins. You think it will have any effect on the body of an athlete!” said a boxer who participated in Beijing Olympics.

“I don’t want my preparations for the 2010 Games to be affected by Rs 6,000-7,000 a month. So I shell it from my pocket,” said a core-group thrower.