Acknowledging that age fraud and doping were two blights among junior athletes in the country,Sports Minister Ajay Maken who was speaking at a conference in Delhi said they would have soon become a thing of the past if his sports bill was passed. The minister also spoke about how to overcome the lack of a sports culture in India and also discussed his views on CWG scam accused Suresh Kalmadis efforts to rejoin the IOA.
On overage players in junior events
The presence of overage players is something I am aware of. In the sports bill which I will be presenting to the cabinet,strict actions will be taken on issues like sexual harassment of the athletes,age-fraud and doping. If the bill is passed,these concerns would become a thing of the past as we would assure that age fraud detections will be done by the officials at all schools and colleges.
On positive dope tests at School Games
It is sad that school children are caught doping but we must look it from the angle that NADA is so proactive now. There might have been doping cases in schools in the past as well but it had gone unnoticed. So it is appreciable,that NADA is making efforts. It is possible that the students who are caught doping might have taken the banned substances unknowingly,so there is a need to educate them. And for that,the games in which there are more cases of doping,NADA must identify those sports. Action has to be taken as per the norms of the WADA and NADA. The very fact that NADA is so proactive at the school level,I think these things will come under check.
On lack of funds for sports other than cricket
Our best years in football and hockey were in the 1950s and before. Could it be said that there were great facilities in those days? Rather than a lack of funds I would say it is due to a lack of sporting culture. Nowadays there is an overwhelming pressure to do well in studies and that comes at the expense of sports. I am speaking to the HRD ministry regarding a proposal to give extra marks at the time of college admissions to students on the basis of their fitness. The proposal is still in its rough format but we will have it on the sports ministry website within a month to get suggestions.
On Kalmadi returning as president of IOA
The Ministrys stand has always been not to be so intrusive as far as the functioning of IOA is concerned. But simultaneously,as far as this issue is concerned,the ministry is also uncomfortable with the idea of Mr Suresh Kalmadi returning back again as IOA President,unless he is cleared of all the charges. I think as far as IOA is concerned it should not be headed by someone tainted of corruption charges. First of all,he should get cleared of all corruption charges and then only should he think of holding such a post. Otherwise,sports in the spirit which it is taught to be played,we will be defeating that very spirit of it.