Citizens' Issues
Narsingh's case an indictment of NADA and political forces
Ironically, the day woman wrestler Sakshi Malik brought in India's first medal from the Rio Olympics, the cricket-loony country may have had greater pleasure in their team's ascent to the No.1 position in the world.
 
And the morning after Pusarla Venkata Sindhu made sure of silver medal by entering the women's badminton singles final came the shattering though suspected news of Narsingh Pancham Yadav being slapped with a four-year ban with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) upholding the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appeal against national body NADA's clean chit to the 74 kg wrestler. He had his weigh-in and was all set for his opening bout.
 
In an indictment of NADA, as well as those political forces which got Narsingh released, CAS refused to accept the plea that he was “the victim of sabotage”, saying “there was no evidence that he bore no fault, nor that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional.” Now NADA has to explain how it came to “sabotage” the result that pointed to the wrestler's guilt in the first place.
 
Thursday night, at least, brought cheer with Sindhu producing a terrific performance, smashing her way pas her Japanese opponent Nozomi Okuhara, World No. 6 and seeded third in the Olympics. It was a giant-killing effort as she beat three players above her in the World rankings. 
 
One barbed question at any Olympics before Leander Paes got that precious bronze medal at the Atlanta Games was how come 800 million and no medal and then one billion and only one? Sindhu has answered in an emphatic manner a question Indians were trying to grapple with: Why only one bronze from a record number of athletes sent to the Games when they returned with their best tally of six from London.
 
The answers are coming thick and fast. India's lone individual gold medallist Abhinav Bindra was quick to point out after he missed a medal by a fraction in Rio that India can forget about medals if she is not willing to spend close to Rs 50 crore for a medal Britain is supposed to be spending. He also added the perennial complaint of a lack of system in Indian sports. The system needs a thorough overhaul but the same system and the government grants also helped Bindra to his Beijing success just as some other medal winners, his own family finances and push notwithstanding. 
 
Yes, Mary Kom is absolutely right, no sportsperson competes to lose and all criticism with the benefit of hindsight is part of her life. Advice costs nothing. Like Bindra, she also feels the authorities failed to build on the momentum in the wake of Beijing and London. She has trotted out the usual yet useful idea of making education sports-oriented at the school level. Now that she is an MP she and that iconic cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, and Olympic medal-winning minister Rajyavardhan Rathore should forcefully impress upon the government to take measures that will raise Indian sport to a different level.
 
The same “appalling” system also enabled Pullela Gopichand to produce two champion badminton players -- Saina Nehwal and Pusarla Venkata Sindhu -- besides world-ranked players Parupalli Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth. Which system brought Dipa Karmakar to vault onto the world stage, or for that matter, Sakshi Malik? Agreed, the system has to pick up pace and more money is needed to be pumped in. The Prime Minister's interest in sport should generate more energy all around to make things happen. 
 
The government should realise that the posting of bureaucrats in the Department of Sports and the appointment of Sports Authority of India (SAI) heads should not be seen as a punishment or a sinecure ahead of superannuation. How can any official take serious interest in the work when he knows he is there to enjoy a trip to an Olympics or an Asian Games. The tenure of the top officials should be from one Olympics to another, a clear four years to demand a delivery system. 
 
Even before they left for Rio, some trotted legitimate grouse and excuses. P.T. Usha talked of her protégé -- two-lap runner Tintu Luka -- not getting enough international exposure despite her repeated requests to the Amateur Athletics Federation of India. Still she talked about the potential of her ward making the semi-final even when she knew that it was a herculean task for an athlete who came under two minutes only a couple of times at big events in the last six years. And, at one of these races of hers, she clocked 1:59.17 and broke 15-year-old mark (1:59.85) set by Shiny Wilson, nee Abraham, at the 1995 South Asian Federation Games. 
 
Tintu ran her season's best and yet it was 2:00.58, a far cry considering that over a thousand runners have come well under two minutes over the years and it will perhaps be left to South African athlete Castor Semenya to beat the long-standing 800m world record of 1:53.28 clocked by Czech Jarmila Kratochvíloá at the 1983 World Cup. Semenya is believed to have a condition known as hyper-androgenism, an “inter-sex” abnormality with an exceptionally higher level of testosterone, giving her an amazing biological advantage over all other athletes. 
 
Most of the athletes touted as medal prospects at Rio will not be there four years from now at the Tokyo Games and the time starts now for a new crop of athletes to make it count.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Vampires got it right, say scientists studying youthful blood (The Funny Side)
My daughters were not really listening to me so I told them that Justin Bieber had just been outed as an alien from the Helix Nebula here to kidnap Taylor Swift. Instant full attention.
 
My wife disapproves of my methods, but the fact is there's no proof he isn't. And no one thinks that guy's normal, right?
 
The extreme weirdness of folks these days was brought home to me by a news report I just read that a woman named Tina Gorjanc is using DNA from her hero, late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, to grow his skin which she plans to turn into a jacket. Imagine her wearing it to a posh restaurant. Maitre' d: "May I hang up your jacket, madam?" Gorjanc: "Yes, but leave the cloakroom door open. Alex doesn't like the dark."
 
I wondered why she would make a McQueen-skin garment instead of growing a whole new McQueen? (I also wondered whether I could get some Taylor Swift to send me her DNA? "Hi, Taylz, instead of a signed photo, could you scrape the inside of your cheek on to this medical spatula and return it to me? Thanks!") I posted my first question on one of those websites that provide answers and some guy eventually wrote that scientists were not actively working on cloning human beings "except in China". This makes no sense. Do they not have enough people in China?
 
The high level of weirdness in modern life was reinforced by a reader who sent a recent news report about a UK man who "identifies as a vampire". The 25-year-old has legally changed his name to Darkness and sleeps in a coffin every night. "Everyone has their beliefs and I don't believe I should be persecuted for following mine," Darkness told the Lancashire Telegraph.
 
Being British, Darkness is a bit too well-bred to bite his neighbours, so he orders packs of human blood substitute from medical suppliers. Forgive my cynicism, but that's not really the same, is it? If the Dracula legend had been about a guy sitting waiting for an Amazon delivery, the whole vampire scene would never have taken off.
 
One of my colleagues has just told me that she once interviewed a self-proclaimed vampire who said that blood tastes metallic. "When vampires need a snack, they suck coins," she said. The reporter also said the vampire "was a pain in the neck, and interviewing her really sucked". And now you know why journalists have bruises on their shins. Their addiction to corny puns makes them eminently kickable.
 
The really weird thing is that a financial reporter friend told me that science may support the vampire theory. A US company named Ambrosia (which means "food of the gods") wants to inject young people's blood into older folk. They were inspired by a group of scientists who injected young mouse blood into older mice and got "signs of a return to youthfulness". I assume this means the older mice instantly became addicted to sending impenetrable emoji-laden messages to each other on smartphones.
 
Whatever. Anyway, if Taylor sends me a bit of her DNA, I'll try to grow my own and report on the results. My office door may be locked for some time.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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Beware! Investors in Indian Mutual Funds from US & Canada
The year was 2008. Sudhir Bhatt, a US resident, was keen to invest in Indian mutual funds...
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