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Banned India can attend Asiad ? for $ 50,000!

india Updated: Oct 13, 2006 13:44 IST
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India's weightlifters can take part in the Asian Games in December provided they pay a fine of 50,000 dollars, the sport's world governing body said on Friday.

India was banned from all international weightlifting competitions for a year, until next March, following four positive dope tests before and during the Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier this year.

But the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) now says it is willing to waive the ban and allow India's participation in the Asian Games in Qatar -- if it coughs up the money.

"India shall pay the fine of 50,000 dollars and remain suspended from membership of the IWF only until the whole amount of the fine is duly paid to the IWF," the federation said in a statement.

"The IWF executive board declares that the fine shall be used for the purpose of anti-doping activities."

Indian weightlifting chief H.J. Dora welcomed the IWF decision and said he was making efforts to raise the money.

"We don't have that kind of money, but we will tap all resources to see if 50,000 dollars can be arranged," he said.

"We will try our best, otherwise innocent athletes will continue to suffer through no fault of their own."

Two male Indian weightlifters, Edwin Raju and Tejinder Singh, tested positive during the Commonwealth Games. Two women, Prameelavalli Bodari and Shailaja Pujari, failed pre-Games tests and were banned by India from making the trip to Australia.

India's own weightlifting federation banned all four for life.

Dora said he was not concerned about the short time available to prepare the team for the Asian Games, to be held in Doha from December 1-15.

"Let us raise the money first," he said. "We can send a young team and look ahead to the Beijing Olympics in 2008."

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