CHENNAI : To ensure that the Indian boxers do not get exposed to possible doping violations in case of illness, while they are at home due to the COVID-19 enforced lockdown, team doctors and support staff have come up with home remedies to treat them. Staying at home means there will be a difference in food, ingredients, the time at which it is being consumed and preparation.
Considering that these things might affect the metabolism of the body, a set of instructions has been given by the team doctor Amol Patil to all the boxers. Every day, around 50-odd boxers, coaches and support staff will have a video conference with the team doctors wherein they update their health status. Over the last two-three weeks, around six pugilists complained of headache and three to four complained of stomach upsets.
“There were some complaints of minor illness like headache and stomach upset. I decided to give them home remedies because access to pharmacies is also limited,” said Patil. “There is a major threat that if they go to the pharmacy and it is unsupervised, they may consume some substance which may fall under WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) prohibited list. That might lead to serious consequences.”The doctor revealed that the boxers did not have any major illnesses that needed intervention in the hospital during the lockdown. The occurrence of such illness, he says, is less at the moment than when they were in national camps.
“Difference in food might give rise to hyperacidity that might lead to headaches and cause stomach upsets. Some food might give rise to skin allergies. These are common and can be dealt with home remedies also. The pharmacy might not understand what is needed for an athlete. When they are an elite boxer and at a different level of fitness, some drugs might act differently. So, we try to keep a tab on them,” Patil added.
With boxing being a sport in which weight divisions matter, there was a genuine concern about the pugilists’ weight. The guidelines were prepared in such a way that they could take care of their basic nutrition. This included consuming a natural immune booster.
“The boxers who were training for the Olympics were at their peak. When they are at their peak, then suddenly they are brought to an abrupt stop, there are major challenges. There will be harmful effects. To consolidate the effects of training and to ensure they don’t deteriorate during the lockdown period, we had to consider the change in their training programme, diet pattern and all of that,” Patil elaborated.
The tweaked training routine involved some physiotherapy programmes “so that they can keep themselves agile and fit at home and not hamper their strength.” “There might be a possibility that their tendons and muscles might have a pull because it is unsupervised. Based on that, we gave them some preventive exercises,” he said.
To make sure the athletes don’t stray from the normal tempo because of the prolonged time away from the camp, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has arranged two to three lectures on psychology starting Sunday apart from th-e online programmes that are already in the place. The lecture will focus on their well being, how they can handle the current situation and remain mentally fit.
“There are sessions next week on rehabilitation, injuries and a special session on doping and practical implications of anti-doping rule violations. Then, how to maintain ideal weight by natural ways and avoid supplements,” the doctor said.This is not the first time that BFI is conducting lectures on psychology. The federation has conducted classes before major tournaments like the World Championship and the Asian Championships last year.