Virat Kohli (Image courtesy: IANS)
Virat Kohli (Image courtesy: IANS)

Over the years, Virat Kohli has been a face of Pepsi but not any more. Kohli has joined the bandwagon of stars who practise only what they preach. A report from The Hindu states that Kohli has rejected a multi-crore offer to endorse a soft-drink brand. Kohli has declined it because his body has a strict ‘no’ policy towards aerated drinks. The Indian skipper aspires to be one of the fittest athletes in the world and makes no compromises with his diet and regimen. ALSO READ: Don’t get into ‘verbal battles’ with Virat Kohli, Jason Gillespie warns Australia

Kohli’s fitness philosophy has inspired many others in the current team. This had led to, perhaps for the first time, India evolving among the fittest sides in contemporary cricket. Kohli once famously told reporter Vijay Lokapally that as captain he does not demand anything of his teammates that he “can’t do first”.

“I first convince myself I can do it and only then ask my teammates to go for it,” he said.

In 2001 Pullela Gopichand had turned down a lucrative offer from an aerated drink brand for the same reason. At that point Gopichand was a household name, just after his All-England title. However, as a responsible sportsman he did not want to encourage others to consume something he didn’t. Not only that, students of his academy — Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu included — are barred from consuming soft drinks (though there is no embargo on them endorsing the products).

Interestingly, Kohli and Gopichand recently joined hands along with business tycoon Sanjeev Goenka to launch annual sports awards. Kohli mentioned how Gopichand used to be an inspiration to him as a youngster: “I remember how I, along with my friends watched Gopi-Sir’s All-England victory. I had a friend who was a state level badminton player and we all watched the match together. We are all proud of Gopi-Sir for what he has achieved. He has been producing world class badminton players”.