Retired long jumper Anju Bobby George is rooting for a better world when the lockdown is lifted. The long jumper, who finished 6th in an event of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens sixteen years ago, supports the World Athletics' decision to postpone Tokyo Olympics for a year and the qualification period for eight months, till November 30. She also said “When you see that the UK Prime Minister is in the ICU, you feel a certain helplessness about the whole thing. However big you are, you are nothing in front of a virus which you can't even see. It just shows how small and insignificant you are in this world.”
“When this virus runs its course, many will change their perception towards life itself. People will not be the same, they will learn to value friendships, we will see a new world,” she told Sportstar.
- Long jumper Anju Bobby George says, "When this virus runs its course, many will change their perception towards life itself. People will not be the same."
- She supports the World Athletics' decision to postpone Tokyo Olympics for a year and the qualification period for eight months, till November 30.
- Dope-testers cannot travel freely to take out-of-competition tests owing to the lockdown in many places: Anju Bobby George.
- Anju won a World Championship medallist with her long jump bronze in 2003 in Paris.
On 2021 Tokyo Olympics
On moving the Olympics and the qualification date, she said, “They did this is because there is a high chance of cheats taking illegal drugs during this coronavirus period since dope-testers cannot travel freely to take out-of-competition tests owing to the lockdown in many places.”
“Athletes can easily hide somewhere now, take drugs, qualify for the Olympics and can do better performances.”
Questions raised on the dope issue
“We had a con-call between the athletes commissions of various countries by the end of March. All of us were worried that cheaters could benefit. That could be a reason why they stopped the Olympic qualification period and fixed a December 1 date to reopen the entry doors,” Anju, the chairperson of the Indian Olympic Association's Athletes Commission, said.
“We feel that proper testing will happen only from January next year. So, to some extent, that will dissuade the dope cheats everywhere...even in India.”
Anju is India's first and only World Champion in Athletics IAAF World Athletics final. She believes that having national competitions before the Olympic qualification starts on December 1 is not a good idea. “If there is no qualification chance, I don't think it will be wise to conduct national competitions. And look at the way coronavirus is spreading in the country, I don't think athletes can have enough time to train if they have competitions in September or October,” she said.
“Right now, we don't know how many days this situation will extend and when they can travel freely from one place to another. Since athletes have travel a lot for competitions, we have to be careful about all these things. Nothing can be more important than the safety and health of our athletes,” Anju claimed.
Picture Credit: Twitter