Dope scam, selection row, admin gaffe mark 2008 weightlifting | india | Hindustan Times
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Dope scam, selection row, admin gaffe mark 2008 weightlifting

india Updated: Dec 18, 2008 11:03 IST
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Weightlifting lived up to its tag of being the dirtiest sport as it was again mired in dope scam besides selection controversies and administrative gaffes in the year gone by, perhaps the worst year for Indian lifters, who have little to show in terms of international achievement.

Indian weightlifters' only credit was fifth-place finish in the Asian Championships in Japan in April-May with a silver and two bronze. But the Beijing Olympics berth earned in the competition was eventually wasted with lone qualifier Monika Devi missing out on her maiden Games opportunity on dope charges.

The year began on a controversial note with the Egyptian coach Magad Salama quitting in February -- after six months of his appointment -- following a lengthy row with the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) top officials, during which he alleged doping by the country's senior lifters.

Despite the IWF's umpteen promises to get rid of doping menace, eggs were thrown at its face with 75kg lifter Kavita Devi being caught in drug net just before the Asian Championships in Japan.

Monika Devi gave a red-faced IWF at least something to cheer about and gloss over the dope shame, helping Indian team win its lone Olympic berth in the event by fetching a silver and two bronze medals in 69kg category.

But a national crisis arose when the Manipuri lifter Monika was prevented from leaving for Beijing Olympics hours before she was to board the flight.