Ignorance isn't ecstasy!

There have been far too many examples for Indian athletes to be careful of what they consume before competition. Therefore, sports lovers don't have much sympathy for seven top athletes who were handed one-year bans by the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel yesterday.

The bans mean their participation in next year's London Olympics is in severe jeopardy. Some will apportion blame to coach Yuri Ogorodnik, who is believed to have provided the athletes with the banned substances.

Ignorance can no longer hold as an excuse when athletes test positive for banned substances in their samples. We live in an ultra-modern world where athletes competing at the biggest stage cannot afford to be gullible.

Administrators the world over get a lot of stick for their arrogant and callous ways, but overall, they must be acknowledged when it comes to making sport as clean as possible with regards to drugs.

Tennis players are subjected to strict doping guidelines and procedures, many a time, much to their annoyance. But at the end of the day, the sport benefits and the various stakeholders cannot complain.

For some reason, Indians keep getting caught in the doping net. Cynics say they just cannot mask it. But then, why should they? Everyone should stay as clean as possible. A sense of fairness and sportsmanship cannot be lost on anyone.

It's a huge blow to the seven Indian athletes, but sport teaches one to pick yourself up and walk again. They must treat this nightmare as a bygone and wake up to a brand new day.

While sporting authorities should spend quality time educating athletes appropriately, they should encourage offenders to find ways to rehabilitate and start living their sporting life again.

After all, they've worked hard to reach a certain level. They may have strayed, but it's not the end of the road.

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