Dope tests for domestic ties from this year
S Dipak Ragav
With the menace of doping in sports rearing its ugly head and dispatching American cyclist Lance Amstrong's feat of seven Tour de France titles into a black hole of shame, cricket in India is taking steps to root out the danger at the domestic level.
Though the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been reluctant to fully comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) 'whereabouts rule', it has decided to start dope testing for domestic players.
The BCCI chief adminstrative officer, Ratnakar Shetty, told HT on Tuesday that testing would be done from the 2012-2013 season.
"We are planning to introduce dope testing from this season," said Shetty. "For the past two years, the BCCI, through its state associations, has been educating cricketers on anti-doping and how to improve their performances the right way."
He also revealed that Dr Vece Paes, the BCCI consultant on anti-doping, would lead the team and work out the modalities to start the testing process.
Speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on sports medicine conducted by the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Shetty said sports federations in the country should educate their athletes on sports medicine, especially to sustain India's performance in the London Olympics.
"Sports federations must come together on a platform to create an atmosphere of learning and create an easy knowledge base to help sportspersons understand what needs to be done in case of an injury," Shetty said, highlighting BCCI's initiative in providing rehabilitation facilities to its players.
In addition to BCCI's rehabilitation centre at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore which caters to the 30 contracted cricketers, it has added three more centres at Chennai, Mohali and Mumbai to cater to Ranji Trophy players, Shetty said.
'Fitter while resting'
Heath Matthews, consultant sports physiotherapist at the Kokilaben Hospital, stressed the importance for athletes to have an idea of "what to do and when to do" and the perils of overdoing things while training for matches and tournaments. "Too much intensity in training sessions can be detrimental," Matthews said.
"It's important to have a proper warm-up routine to avoid injuries."
Matthews also threw light on the importance of adequate rest and a proper rehabilitation process for athletes saying "the human body gets fitter during the rest period after exercises and not during it."