Mumbai: Indian cricket team vice-captain Virat Kohli on Friday said doping in sport is simply not acceptable and called for the harshest possible punishment for those who bring disrepute to the game.
Kohli's comments came in the wake of Delhi Ranji player and Kolkata Knight Rider's promising left-arm seamer Pradeep Sangwan failing a random dope test during the sixth edition of the IPL. Sangwan is only the second cricketer in the history of IPL after Pakistani speedster Mohammad Asif to have been found guilty of consuming banned drugs.
"This (doping) is not at all acceptable. Whoever doesn't respect sport, corrupts it, should be handed the harshest punishment. Sport gives you everything in life. If you can't respect the game, you don't deserve to be there. Strict punishment should be given to the guilty," said Kohli on the sidelines of a function here.
Kohli said there's always the possibility of an athlete taking banned substances by mistake without being fully aware of its specifications.
"You may have taken an antibiotic but if it has banned substance, you will test positive. You may not know about it," he added.
Athletics suffered one of its darkest days this week following revelations that two of the world's fastest men, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, were among six athletes to have tested positive for banned substances.
The conversation soon veered towards cricket and Kohli was asked about his superhero in real life.
"In cricket, my superhero is Sachin Tendulkar. He has always been my hero and will continue to remain so. Apart from him and outside cricket, my mother has remained my inspiration.
"Whatever difficult time I had faced, she was always there for me. She has given me all the strength. She maintained her composure and supported me in tough times," he said.