India’s legendary sprinter Milkha Singh on Wednesday said that doping is like cancer and government needs to take some strict measures to curb this menace.
“Doping is like cancer. If you visit the changing rooms or bathrooms of the athletes you will find syringes. They know that if they dope then they will have more strength. To stop this menace, it is important that government takes some strict measures,” said the 86-year-old at the launch of a multi-sport fitness programme, Milkha Surefit, which aims at identifying and nurturing sports potential of young school children.
“Government needs to sack the coaches and doctors of the athletes as it is not possible to dope without their knowledge. It is a shame for the parents and the country as a whole and needs to be dealt with firmly,” he added.
Milkha said he was deeply pained and cried like hell after missing the Olympic medal during the Rome Olympics. He now wants to see an Indian winning an Olympic gold in athletics before he breathes his last.
“I ran in Olympics in 1960. It has been 55 years since, still we could not produce another Milkha out of the 120 crore people of India. Before I die, I want to see an Indian winning an Olympic gold medal in Athletics which slipped out of my fingers,” he said.
“I ran in 80 international race, I won in 77 of them but I failed to win that Olympic medal in Rome. I had cried like hell that night. I had wasted 12-13 years of my hard work. It was my and my country’s bad luck.”
Milkha had finished fourth after clocking 45.60 seconds in 1960 Rome Olympics 400m race.
The ‘Flying Sikh’ said it is because of lack of will power and sincerity that India could not win an Olympic gold in athletics.
“People blame government but we have stadiums, infrastructure, coaches, funds. We have everything, what we lack is will power and hard work. You have to love a thing like mad then only you can do something in that. There are three things — athletes, coaches and Association. If all of them are sincere, we will have many more Milkha Singh. The problem is we are not sincere enough. We don’t take responsibility.”
Milkha Singh doesn’t see any Indian winning the Olympic gold in athletics at next year’s Rio Games.