Talib says he warned against doping a long time ago

KARACHI: Pakistan’s veteran athletics coach Muhammad Talib has said the country’s sports authorities should have taken action they are now taking much earlier to prevent doping cases.

Speaking to ‘The News’, Talib appreciated the initiatives of POA and PSB but said they should have started these things a long time ago.

He said he warned long ago that if this went unchecked and the country’s players were caught up at international level, it would be a disaster.

“For many years we barely survived in all those disciplines in which we were considered champions. And instead of taking corrective action, coaches encouraged the use of performance-enhancing drugs to improve performance,” Talib said.

He said the situation was horrible. “Pakistan’s future in the world of sports would be bleak if the use of performance-enhancing drugs was not controlled,” he said.

He suggested that brochures on performance-enhancing substances be printed in Urdu and that a comprehensive list of banned substances be provided to all sports federations so that they can educate their players.

He urged all sports federations and provincial associations to launch awareness campaigns in collaboration with the POA and federal and provincial authorities.

“Action has been taken against a number of world famous players due to their use of banned substances,” he said.

He said Russia had been banned from international athletics competitions due to the use of banned drugs.

‘The News’ has published interviews with Talib, who has coached and trained for over 40 years at his School of Physical Fitness (AFS) in Karachi, in which he briefed the Ministry of IPC, POA, from the PSB and other competent authorities that the use of the banned substances has reached an alarming level and if left unaddressed, Pakistan will have to bear the severe consequences.

This correspondent published a number of reports on the use of drugs by Pakistani athletes and also reported that many athletes had lost their lives due to an overdose of these substances.

It is only now that PSB has begun to organize awareness programs for athletes, coaches and coaches.

PSB sources said that they have organized a program in Islamabad and in a few days another program will be organized in Lahore.

Sources said that these awareness programs would be carried out across the country.

The POA has announced that it will carry out doping tests on all athletes bound for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The POA will organize a three-day seminar from April 19-21.

Players and officials from hockey, judo, athletics, cricket, squash, table tennis, boxing, weightlifting, wrestling and a few other disciplines will be invited to the seminar.

Meanwhile, PSB sources said letters were being sent to all departments across the country asking them to educate their coaches and trainers on the sensitivity of the issue.

Sources in the sports community revealed that in most cases coaches and coaches forced athletes to use these substances so that they could gain promotions through the performance of their athletes. “Athletes are usually not educated enough to understand these things. They are used by their coaches and coaches,” a source said.

In 2016, four of the country’s top bodybuilders – including two participants in the South Asian Games – died within eighteen days from the use of banned substances.

Humayun Khurram had won a gold medal in the South Asian bodybuilding championship and Hamid Ali, nicknamed Ustad Gujju, had won a bronze medal.

Informed sources said they all died due to the use of locally made steroids which led to multiple complications including heart failure.

A few years ago, Pakistan’s fastest sprinter, Mobin Akhtar, who had won the national women’s 100 meters twice, died at home in mysterious circumstances.

The Pakistan Athletics Federation (PAF) in 2010 banned eight prominent athletes, including women, because they were found using performance-enhancing substances.

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