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Kabaddi Politics: Stop the blame Game

One of the primary task of a kabaddi player is to avoid being tagged by an opposing raider.

And it seems that Indian kabaddi officials are taking the same stance in handling the issue of the 13 players tested positive before the Kabaddi World Cup in Punjab.

According to a report in the Telegraph (UK) today, the Amateur Kabaddi Federation (AKFI) is not only struggling to defend the sports reputation but was also attempting to blame others for it.

The Telegraph reports that AKFI president JS Gehlot, said none of those suspended had ever represented India before and sought to blame the local Punjab government for their selection.

Forgive me for my ignorance. But if the AKFI are the governing body for the sport in India, why is the Punjab government doing the selection of the Indian team? And why is the so-called Indian team to the World Cup made entirely of players only from Punjab?

Gehlot was also quoted in another media report as saying:

“None of our 36 probables who are part of the National camp is in this group of players. The Indian kabaddi teams had been undergoing dope tests in international competitions since 1990 and not a single player had come ‘positive’ to date,” added Gehlot.

This is stating the obvious and hiding the truth.

The 36 probables that Gehlot is talking about are National Style Kabaddi players, who are in training for the Asian Games later this year.

The 13 players who had tested positive in Punjab are Circle Style Kabaddi players and India never had any circle style national camp ever.

This is like comparing apples with oranges.

To further state that not a single player had been tested positive since 1990 is another attempt to play kabaddi politics.

Nine Indian athletes including one kabaddi player, Jasvir Singh, was tested positive during the National Games in Guwahati in 2007.

The issue is here is not whom to blame for the fiasco, but what needs to be done.

Passing the buck when the going gets tough is not going to improve the tainted image of kabaddi.

That the Punjab State government almost single handedly took the herculean task of organising the World Cup is commendable, especially with their insistence of conducting drug tests on all Indian players.

The primary problem faced here is educating the players.

The All-India Circle Kabaddi Federation (AICKF) Ved Sharma was correctly quoted in the Telegraph as saying that these players, mainly from rural areas, do not understand international rules.

Doping is not new in sports and has been recorded in the annals of history from time immemorial. And it is certainly not a new phenomenon in India.

It is the role of the governing bodies of the respective sports to educate their young players on the dangers of drug abuse for the betterment of sports.

And playing kabaddi in this issue is not going to help.

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