"I think that athletes are making a mistake if they are trying to be aware of what is in every single substance. It is easier just to say 'no'. You just have to say 'no' instead of taking the 'I didn't know' approach. You cannot have it both ways," Moses has told World Anti Doping Agency's official publication 'Play True'.
     
Moses replied to a query whether the sheer number of supplements available today make it more difficult for an athlete (to stay drug free).
     
In the Indian context, the two-time 400m hurdles Olympic champion's advise has come a bit late as six athletes, including double Asian Games gold medallist Ashwini Akkunji, tested positive in June 2011 and served out a two-year ban.
     
Ashwini and five others - Sini Jose, Mandeep Kaur, Priyanka Panwar, Juana Murmu and Tiana Mary Thomas – tested positive for banned substances which they claimed later were contained in the food supplement given to them by their coach.
     
According to Moses, in this digital age, the athletes should take responsibility for conforming to the Anti-Doping Code.
     
"A great part of the problem is the athletes themselves. If you are in a sport like my sport – track & field – and you’re out there earning significant money and have people working with you such as physical therapists, masseurs and coaches, and you have access to electronic devices which can easily download all of the information instantly, then the case of pleading ignorance should not be as acceptable as it was during the pre-digital era when we had to circulate a piece of paper around the world.
     
"Athletes have to begin to take more responsibility because strict liability is a fundamental principle of the Code," he said.

 (Agencies)

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