Promising Delhi weightlifter Ashutosh Kumar had been training hard for a medal at the Youth National Championships in November.
But Ashutosh, who finished fourth in his weight category at the last nationals, had his hopes dashed on Monday.
Like several others, Ashutosh was unaware that the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has imposed a yearlong ban on the state unit. This was after two of its lifters had tested positive for doping at the senior nationals in March.
The reason for the lifters’ ‘ignorance’ was because Paramjeet Singh, secretary general of the Delhi unit, hadn’t communicated to them that they could not participate in the nationals this year.
“Rules have been made to check doping in the country. Showing leniency to one unit would make a mockery of the federation’s anti-doping policy,” said Sahdev Yadav, IWF secretary general.
He further said that even if Delhi paid extra money, as is the case internationally, the IWF would not reduce the period of the ban.
With the federation in no mood to relax the rules, some of the Delhi lifters are thinking of representing neighbouring states in the nationals. “I have been training hard for almost a year and we may have to look for other openings to participate in the nationals,” said a lifter.
Apart from the doping issue, Delhi is also struggling to put together the fine. Of the Rs 1.5 lakh penalty slapped by the IWF, only Rs 50,000 has been paid so far. If the entire sum is not paid, Delhi will not be allowed to participate in the next calendar year too.
“As long as the dues are pending, we will not allow Delhi to compete in national-level competitions,” said Yadav.
When contacted, Paramjeet said the dues would be cleared soon.