Just the beginning for Neeraj and Sreeshankar, says AFI president Sumariwalla

AFI president Adille Sumariwalla also stressed that the association has zero tolerance to doping, and that one should not undermine the achievements of the athletes.

AFI president Adille Sumariwalla is hopeful that the Indian athletes will continue the good show.   -  FILE PHOTO/K. MURALI KUMAR

Though the Indian athletes are slowly returning to the track after a long break forced by the global pandemic, there have been exceptional performances in the last few days.

Apart from the national records from javelin throwers Neeraj Chopra, Annu Rani and long jumper M. Sreeshankar, there have been stunning improvement in athletes like Amoj Jacob.

Athletics Federation of India feels the good times will continue. “I don't think it's too early, I think it's just the beginning for Neeraj and Sreeshankar,” said Adille Sumariwalla, the AFI president, after the second day's action in the Federation Cup in Patiala on Tuesday.

READ| Olympics: Sreeshankar qualifies for Tokyo Games, sets national record in long-jump

With news coming in that two athletes, including a leading woman quartermiler, had failed dope tests, there were many wondering how genuine the outstanding performances are.

But the AFI chief had an answer for that. “Don't degrade the performances of athletes like Neeraj and others. We have zero tolerance to doping. If somebody is caught doping, he or she will face the consequences from WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) and the law,” said Sumariwalla.

READ| Neeraj Chopra star attraction at Federation Cup Athletics

“We will not support anything that has anything to do with doping. Whatever action needs to be taken, we will do it.”

Jinson not training for Olympics

He also revealed that Asian Games champions and national record holders Jinson Johnson (middle distance runner) and Arpinder Singh (triple jumper) are not focusing on this July's Olympics.

“Jinson is not training for the Olympics, he is training for the Asian Games. So too is Arpinder,” said Sumariwalla in reply to a question on why the two had skipped the ongoing tournament.

“Jinson has made it clear that he is not ready for the Olympics.”

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