Anju Bobby George on B. Aishwarya doping: This is wrong, we cannot allow this to go on

Dhanalakshmi and Aishwarya, who were named in the Indian athletics team for the Birmingham CWG, returned positive for a banned steroid in a dope test.

Anju, the country’s lone World Championships medallist (long jump bronze, 2003, Paris), feels that efforts must be made to find out where the illegal substances came from.

Anju, the country’s lone World Championships medallist (long jump bronze, 2003, Paris), feels that efforts must be made to find out where the illegal substances came from. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Dhanalakshmi and Aishwarya, who were named in the Indian athletics team for the Birmingham CWG, returned positive for a banned steroid in a dope test.

When Anju Bobby George saw B. Aishwarya doing the big long jumps at the Inter-State Nationals in Chennai, she had her doubts.

“When I saw her big jumps in Chennai, I could sense that something was wrong. Because in the long jump, I know how difficult it is to fly up to 6.70,” said Anju in a chat with Sportstar on Wednesday.

“This (Aishwarya’s 6.73) came all of a sudden. It’s not possible. So, I was expecting this.”

If they had gone to the Commonwealth Games or the World Championships and tested positive there, what a disgrace it would have been for the country.

—  Anju on Aishwarya and Dhanalakshmi

Anju, the country’s lone World Championships medallist (long jump bronze, 2003, Paris), feels that efforts must be made to find out where the illegal substances came from.

“We should find out from the athlete whether this substance came from abroad or locally. If we can track one route, we can stop many. They are spoiling the chances of so many young athletes. This is wrong, we cannot allow this to go on. I have been trying to campaign against doping in sport for some time,” said Anju, the long jump national record holder with 6.83m, who runs a top jumps academy in Bengaluru.

“All of a sudden someone is coming, doing something and getting caught. We should stop this. She (Aishwarya) is based in Bengaluru, using SAI’s facilities and training there but she was not ready to attend the camp. That itself makes one doubt.

“If they (Aishwarya and Dhanalakshmi) had gone to the Commonwealth Games or the World Championships and tested positive there, what a disgrace it would have been for the country.”

The Athletics Federation of India has been harping that it is doing everything it can to check doping. But with the numbers increasing, what more can it do?

“Frequent testing at the camps, intensive testing...and all our top athletes should be in the (registered) testing pool. That is why the AFI is saying that athletes should join national camps,” said Anju, who is also AFI’s senior vice-president.

When asked that the national campers have also been caught doping, she agreed some do, but they are always available for tests. “The campers are also doing it but we can test them any time. If anybody wants to test them, they are available there. Someone may take the substance but she is not hiding,” she said.

“There are many things in place to check doping but still the cheaters are way ahead. They are tying to find new methods to cheat the system.”

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