ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sordid Sports

Weightlifter Monika Devi’s withdrawal from the Olympics reveals the seamy insides of Indian sport.

In the media frenzy over India’s first gold medal in individual events at the Olympics, the Monika Devi case will be pushed to the background. Yet, it is the murky events surrounding the Manipuri weightlifter’s aborted attempts to participate in the Beijing games that tell us more about the state of Indian sport.

Doping is a major issue at the highest level worldwide and though (perhaps because of?) India has a poor international sports record, the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Indian sports seems to be quite common. Drug abuse is widespread in weight-lifting, in particular, which is also in keeping with the global pattern. India suffered the ignominy of two weightlifters being detected for illegal drug use in the 2004 Olympics.

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