first_imgThe performance by Indian athletes at the Asian Games, India’s best in two decades, caused much celebration that died down quickly with the announcement that distance runner Sunita Rani had tested positive for dope.The athlete from Punjab was stripped of her gold and bronz e medals and her records and returned home in disgrace. It’s not a new scenario for Indian sport which has for several years now been ridden with accusations of a widespread and sustained campaign of doping.In the past four months, three Indians including Rani have tested positive in major competitions. Dope-control procedures in India are very lax as they are conducted by a laboratory in Delhi that is not certified by the International Olympic Committee.Athletes cleared by the Government for overseas competition have to clear tests before departure. When they then test positive abroad, it indicates that there is more than a rogue athlete acting on his or her own. It indicates that there is official connivance in a sustained and supervised doping programme. Indian athletes who test positive are punished and usually left to cope with humiliation on their own.The accessories to the “crime”-officials, doctors, coaches- continue in their jobs. The presence of “sports medicine” doctors from the old Soviet states hired to help Indian athletes may have coincided with improved results in athletics in the past two Asian Games, but coincidentally so has the bad news about the use of performance – enhancing drugs.In Rani’s case a compromised and corroded sporting system has caught up with one of India’s brightest athletic hopes. The argument that doping is a self-evident truth in international sport will not help put her athletic career back on track.last_img read more