Strict laws will be in place to fight doping: Adile Sumariwala
Jamshedpur, May 8: Plans to revive Tata Athletics Academy in Jamshedpur are being worked out, said Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla. The Academy has remained dormant since eight years. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the 4th Indian Open Javelin Throw Competition at JRD Tata Sports Complex here, the AFI president said, “Tata Athletics Academy was shut after Dr Nickloy’s report stated that the pollution level in Jamshedpur was high at that time due to which the players were having difficulty in training. Athletes who had to train for at least 200 kilometers a week were finding it tough due to the increased carbon dioxide level. Later, pollution monitoring machine was installed in JRD Tata Sports Complex and now it’s a huge relief to note that the pollution level in the training area has reduced appreciatively.”
Appreciating Tata Steel, Sumariwalla further said that the company had worked determinedly to reduce the pollution level. “The air in Jamshedpur is much better than Delhi, Patiala and other places. That’s why we are once again taking the initiative to restart the Tata Athletics Academy and hope everything will be in place within a year,” he added.
Adille Sumariwalla, a famous athlete of his time, went on to say that I have had a long association with Tata since my playing days. “At that time we used to see huge gatherings of athletes here in Jamshedpur and Indian athletics at that time meant Tata. I am sure that the good old days will return as Tatas have always been at the forefront in promoting sports,” he added.
Adille Sumariwalla said that doping had caused the most harm to athletics in the country. “At a young age, due to arbitrariness of coaches, children take wrong medicines. They get a job or win an event, but as soon as they get to the big stage, they flop. That’s why we have proposed to introduce a bill regarding doping in which strict action has been demanded. The dope testing process has also increased as today more than 1,000 tests are being conducted,” Sumariwalla informed.
The AFI president went on to say that there was also a need to work on issues like over age and over training for the development and improvement of athletics in India. “We are also trying to take the World Athletics Federation’s programme, Kids’ Athletics Program to every Indian district. To stop overage, we have started a biometric programme and to stop the over training and provide the best training to our athletes, we definitely need qualified coaches. For this, the Athletics Federation of India, in association with World Athletics Federation, has started coaches’ program and in the last two years, 549 levels 1 coaches and 90 level 2 coaches have qualified but there is a further need for around 5,000 coaches for bringing out the best in our athletes,” Sumariwalla added.
Olympics possible in India
Adille Sumariwalla observed, “Hosting Olympics in India is possible as we can build infrastructure but the big question is how many medals can we win. Neeraj Chopra has given a different identity to athletics in India and we have declared August 7 as Javelin Throw Day. We were struggling to get a medal in javelin throw for the last 13 years. We took help of foreign coaches and made several strategies. Athletics Association of India is ready to promote Neeraj Chopra and other Olympic prospects in every way and provide financial assistance. The nature of the game has changed a lot presently and every athletic event needs to be viewed from the point of science and that’s the reason we are taking help of experts,” the AFI president said while signing off.