Foreign coaches get athletes hooked to drugs: Milkha Singh

Panaji, Dec 10: India does not need foreign coaches because they tend to hook young athletes on to drugs, claimed former athlete Milkha Singh, and called for an overhaul of the coaching system in India.

The ‘Flying Sikh’ was speaking to reporters Tuesday on the sidelines of the unveiling ceremony of the official mascot for the Lusofonia Games.

“There is no need for foreign coaches. While teaching they (foreign coaches) get athletes addicted to drugs,” he alleged, making a case for appointing Indian coaches. He also said that coaches should be taken on contract and not on a permanent salary basis.

“Coaches to train these promising athletes for the future should be hired on a contractual basis, with tight deadlines indicating how and when their performance thus far may be assessed,” he urged.

“I think that the emphasis should lie on the appointment of good and capable coaches, wherever they may come from. For instance, none of mine came from abroad, yet, they excelled at their job,” Singh said.

He also said that a serious amount of planning had to go into athletic events, which should attract talent from a very early stage.

Singh called on India to emulate China as far as developing sports talent and infrastructure are concerned.

“There are several independent sports bodies that require to step up their game, and take note of the fine example that China has set in terms of sports development. If this model can be replicated, I believe the future to be very bright indeed,” he said.

IANS