Saturday, February 4, 2006

It's sad when athletes turn to drugs (03/02/2006 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 03/02/2006
Headline : It's sad when athletes turn to drugs

DRUG ABUSE is a social ill in the country, but the government are going
everything possible to eradicate it.
But when drug-abuse surfaces in sports, which is the very agent
recognised globally as a means to move away from drugs, it is alarming.
In Malaysia, drug abuse among sportsmen and women is not rampant, but
there have been enough cases in recent years to send a warning sign that
this problem has to stopped in it's infancy.
It has been said that social and personal skills combined, sports can
be an effective medium to intervene in a person's decision to abuse or
not to abuse drugs.
However, it has also been acknowledged that participation in sports
does not inherently lead to a drug-free lifestyle, but well-designed
sports programmes, run by skilled and credible coordinators, help reduce
high-risk behaviours.
This is especially true when the elements of sport are combined with
the structured provision of drug-related information and life-skills
This brings us to the question whether in Malaysia, enough has been
done to educate the youth public in general and sportsmen and women in
particular on the ills of drugs.
Every time a case arises of an athlete involved in drug-abuse, a lot is
said, but after a while everything is forgotten and no serious efforts to
educate the youth is done.
In Malaysia, athletes generally are well paid, especially in football
where some are known to earn between RM10,000-RM18,000.
When they have the money and luxury of time on their hands, they tend
to turn towards all sorts of entertainment, including drugs.
It is indeed sad even the young and talented have have been involved
with drugs in sports ranging from football, sepaktakraw, athletics,
weightlifting, boxing, cycling, motor-racing and bodybulding.
Tests have been carried out by the National Anti Doping Control
Programme (NADCP) on national athletes at regular intervals funded by the
Sports Ministry and run by the National Sports Council (NSC), the Olympic
Council of Malaysia (OCM) and the Malaysian Association of Doping Control
in Sports (Masdocs).
Several have failed in categories ranging from medication, inadvertent
injections and hard drugs (steroids).
Recent tests have revealed that many of those tested positive for
drug-abuse were junior level athletes and this only underlines the lack
of awareness of drug abuse among the young athletes.
Continuous tests are going to be conducted and probably more athletes
are going to be "caught" but unless the respective National Sports
Associations do their part not only in education on the ills of drug
abuse, but also provide counseling and rehabilitation programmes, the war
against drug abuse will not be over.
There has been known cases among the young who start off with
glue-sniffing and gradually graduate to drugs.
Some athletes consume banned substance in food supplements or
traditional medication unknowingly and this is education on drugs will
Then we have athletes who use hard drugs, in the sporting context while
other use it for recreational purposes.
Whatever context the drugs is used, it is against the law.
Sports has been recognised worldwide as a tool to fight not only drugs,
but generally to make the world a better place to live in.
So let us use sports to fight the ills of drugs and start educating
them from young to have a healthy and sporting society.

No comments: