25 June, 2021

'The Use Of Steroids And Cortisone By Players Was Common'

'The Use Of Steroids And Cortisone By Players Was Common'
Anshuman Gaekwad has been closely associated with Indian cricket for nearly 25 years. The former celebrated opening batsman was the coach during the World Cup in 1999, and bounced back again for a short period last year when Kapil Dev resigned from his job. As coach, his proximity with the team is undeniable. In his words, "They were close to me, like family members." In an exclusive interview with Outlook, he talks of the prevalence of drug abuse in the team. Excerpts:

How prevalent is the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs among Indian cricketers?
It has helped cricketers tremendously. When I was coach, a few batsmen and all the fast bowlers would have it during (the drinks break) to pep them up. I didn't know the exact composition but it could have been amphetamines, stimulants or something else. A readymade powdered formulation, imported from Australia, was mixed with water for boosting energy. If I am right, the physio, Andrew Leipus, procured it and it was very expensive. Besides, steroids and cortisone injections are regularly used...
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