Boxer Vijender Singh's alleged link to the heroine haul case has once again put a question mark on Indian athletes' honesty in sports.
Consumption of drugs by a section of sportsmen is not a new trend. There have been several instances in the past where athletes made headlines because of their involvement in drug scandals. However, the question arises as to why athletes cannot resist taking drugs?
Every athlete is under constant pressure to boost their performance and win competitions. After all, it is the matter of fame, money and reputation. Magazine Sports Illustrated had once surveyed some reputed Olympians to find out if they use drugs to improve their performance if not caught. Ninety eight percent of them were found to be in favour of it.
The website Howstuffworks reported that performance-enhancing drugs come in many forms, other than pills, and the results they produce are highly sought after.
Another contributing factor for consumption of drugs is increase in the investments to win competitions. Medical professionals, unethical pharmacists, trainers and different sports organizations work secretly with or without the athletes' knowledge to develop sophisticated doping techniques to enhance performance, said a report by Hindustan Times.
Howstuffworks also reported that using drugs to improve performance dates back to ancient Greece. Athletes have often been willing to go to any extent to improve their performance. It appears that drug use increased in the 1960s.
Other reasons for using drugs can be the relaxation it provides. Some athletes use it to cope with stress, stimulate the body or reduce weight.
Indian athletes such as Seema Antil, Neelam Jaswant Singh and Anil Kumar were tested positive for steroids and stimulants that are banned by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Weight lifters such as Satheesha Rai, Sanamacha Chanu and Kunjarani Devi were also found consuming drugs to increase their chances of winning a medal.