The Indian Weightlifting Federation's mission for the 2012 Olympics suffered a setback as only a handful of lifters from a pool of 26 reported for the men's preparatory camp. Even the coaches for the camp, which got underway at Patiala, haven't yet arrived, making IWF's task of preparing the national squad for upcoming international competitions difficult.
IWF secretary-general, Sahdev Yadav, blamed the Services Sports Control Board and Railways Sports Promotion Board for playing spoilsport.
Both the boards have been banned from domestic events after their lifters tested positive for drugs. Now, the boards want the federation to lift the ban, or else they would not send their players for the camp. "It's just short of blackmail," says Yadav. "The boards, instead of cooperating with the federation, are putting pressure on us to reverse the ban.
With two positive cases in international meets, the federation is just a step away from facing another ban, and the secretary-general doesn't want to take any chance. "It's better to send fewer lifters to international meets, than pay huge amount as penalty," said Yadav.