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India bans drug cheats for life

The Indian Weightlifting Federation has imposed life bans on Edwin and Tejinder for failing drug tests at C'wealth Games.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2006 13:47 IST

India's weightlifting chiefs on Monday imposed life bans on Edwin Raju and Tejinder for failing drugs tests during last month's Commonwealth Games.

Two women lifters, Prameelavalli Bodari and Shailaja Pujari, who tested positive at pre-Games training camps and did not make the trip to Melbourne, were handed two-year bans.

"We have made it known that we will not tolerate drugs cheats and this move to ban lifters is part of that policy," said Indian weightlifting chief HJ Dora.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) suspended India from taking part in world meets after the Commonwealth Games due to the four positive tests.

The IWF will determine the length of the ban next month amid fears India may not be able to send weightlifters to the Asian Games in Doha in December and the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Both Tejinder and Raju had cleared three tests conducted by the Sports Authority of India's Dope Control Centre in New Delhi between December and February.

But the centre itself has been under a shadow in recent months after it failed a sample test given by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) under the latter's accreditation procedure.

Two women weightlifters, Sanamacha Chanu and Pratima Kumari, who failed the dope test at the Athens Olympics, had both been cleared by the same Dope Control Centre.

Dora, who was India's chef-de-mission at the Commonwealth Games, said he will not appeal the ban.

"I feel sorry for the lifters who are innocent," he said. "They can't compete for no fault of theirs but we have to be very strict if we are to root out the problem."