The drug menace

DOPING and athletics seem to go hand in hand. And the domestic meets, be it at the senior or junior level, are no exception.

Despite the bans and the worldwide scanner on doping, the drug menace seems to thrive and the vials and unlabelled bottles of steroids found in the flush tanks of the gents and ladies toilets are testimony to this.

The athletes unaware of the consequences were seen jabbing syringes just before the event and hoping to get results immediately, according to sources. However the AAFI on its part did have a local doctor and two Observers to monitor random dope-testing. "The samples will be sent to SAI, Delhi and the results obtained at the earliest,'' said Lalit Bhanot, secretary AAFI who came here on the last day. "This is mere foolishness. In their bid to inject a vein the athletes may find a nerve and the injury could be long lasting,'' said the secretary.

Bhanot also called for restricting the events at the National camps. "We have identified a few events like 4x400m for both men and women, discus throw, long jump, 800m (both), 1,500m and shot put (men) instead of having campers in all the events. We should be more result oriented and will be chalking out new programmes,'' he said, obviously referring to the support extended to Anju George and her success at the World stage.