Indian weightlifting was on Wednesday hit by another dope controversy barely days after the country was saved from international ban, including missing the Commonwealth Games, with 53kg lifter Sanamacha Chanu failing a NADA dope test conducted last month.
The 31-year-old Chanu, one of the most successful woman weightlifters in the country, tested positive for banned substance methylhexaneamine, her second offence after being caught at 2004 Athens Olympics.
She is expected to face life ban if her 'B' sample also turns out to be positive and she is unable to clear her name before a NADA appeal panel.
Chanu, a former Asian champion and 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games champion, tested positive during the trials for the Delhi Commonwealth Games in New Delhi last month.
"Yes, Chanu has tested positive for methylhexaneamine. She now faces life ban if her 'B' sample comes out to be positive. It is up to her to test the 'B' sample and appear before the NADA appeal panel," a top source told PTI on Wednesday.
Indian Weightlifting Federation Secretary Sahdev Yadav told PTI that one lifter, who was not in the Commonwealth Games squad announced last month, had returned positive for a banned substance but refused to divulge the name.
"One lifter has tested positive but under rules we don't give names till the 'B' sample result comes. The 'B' sample result is expected to come by Monday. But I can say that the lifter is not among the Commonwealth Games squad," he said.
The dope flunk came days after Indian Weightlifting Federation completed payment of a hefty $ 5 lakh fine to the international body after its six lifters failed WADA dope tests conducted last September.
The country's lifters were allowed to take part in next month's Commonwealth Games here after the CWG OC gave an interest-free loan of Rs. 1.75 crore to the IWF to pay the remaining two installments of $ five lakh fine by August 31.
Interestingly, the Manipuri lifter also tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a substance that has been in the centre of a controversy with as many as 11 athletes in the past week returning positive for the same stimulant, widely available in dietary supplements.
Chanu had earlier tested positive for a diuretic at the Athens Olympics in 2004. She finished fourth there but was later caught for doping along with another woman lifter Pratima Kumari (63kg).
The duo were banned for two years and Indian Weightlifting Federation was suspended for a year after the dope fiasco.
Chanu, Arjuna Award winner in 2000, was added in the CWG Core Group of lifters in August last year after serving out her ban.
She, however, could not make it to the Commonwealth Games team as she could manage only the third place in a three-woman field in the 53kg category trials here last month, totaling 172kg.