Asian Games 2018: Hima Das hits back against Assam media for doping allegations, blames pressure for false start; watch video
What's the story?
Ace Indian track and field athlete Hima Das has hit back at a local Assamese news channel that had raised questions regarding doping allegations after a surprise test was conducted on the 18-year-old.
In case you didn't know...
One of the brightest prospects of Indian athletics, Hima Das proved at the Asian Games that she is ready to be the next big thing.
Coming on the back of her Junior Championships Gold, the Indian athlete once again shone throughout the tournament, winning the silver medal in Women's 400m. She added another Silver to her name, this time in the mixed 4x400m relay. However, Das suffered a small setback as well, when she was disqualified from the women's 200m event.
The heart of the matter
Two days earlier, on August 27, Assamese news channel DY365 ran a story questioning whether doping was behind Hima Das' success at the Asiad.
It is widely known that random athletes are picked up for doping tests at every big sporting event. Moreover, the results of these tests are usually not revealed to the general public.
Das was picked recently for the same, along with another Indian athlete. The news channel, in this instance, decided to run a story regarding the same. They asked the Indian officials in Jakarta who relayed the same message, that it was a routine check. As expected, the results of the tests were not shared with them.
However, the new channel questioned the same, linking Das's improving results to doping. Speaking in the video below, Das hit back at the claims of the News Channel, after the false start that saw her disqualified from the 200m event.
She remarked that the accusations distracted her from giving her best. The video is in Hima's native tongue.
"I couldn't do well in both the events. I'm new to athletics, and there are all kinds of pressures to deal with. Sirs (coaches) will say more about that. Two people, both from Assam, have been making certain comments which distract athletes," she said.
"I plead to them, and all others, to not create any controversy. We are athletes, and we are hurt by such comments. I couldn't do well in the 200m event because I was tensed due to such controversies," the youngster says in the above video.
It is quite disappointing to see honest athletes being put under unnecessary pressure. Hima Das' case is another example of a situation being created out of nothing. Nevertheless, the athlete has now herself hit back, along with support from her coaches.