Coaches demand anti-doping measures
Demanding greater scrutiny in future, coaches of leading schools in the 57th Kerala State Schools Athletics Championship rued the lack of anti-doping measures in this edition of the meet that concluded at the Maharaja’s College stadium on Tuesday.P G Manoj, coach of HS, Parali, Palakkad, said the performances of certain athletes were surprising.
“Some performances were dubious and need to be looked into,” he stated, after Ernakulam clinched the overall title.
P I Babu, coach of Government VHSS, Mathirappilly, said drug cheats had a free run after it came out earlier that the National Anti-Doping Agency (Nada) would not be on duty at the meet.
“The Nada normally conducts tests at national-level athletics events and gives a skip to the state meets, especially the schools championship. This is a dangerous trend and one that should be stopped,” said Babu, who is also the secretary of the Ernakulam District Athletics Association.
“There should be a level playing ground for athletes to compete and drug testing should be ensured in order to make sure our children perform to their fullest on fair terms,” he added.
Meanwhile, Raju Paul, coach of championship-winning St George’s HSS, Kothamangalam, said the presence of the anti-doping agency should have been made mandatory. “We are willing to put any of our children for anti-doping tests,” he said.