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Indian weightlifting body suspended

The federation has been suspended for second time in 7 months. Who's to blame?
None | By Ajai Masand, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 30, 2006 04:12 AM IST

Just six months after the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) came out of a one-year suspension by the International Weightlifting Federation, it has been suspended again. Why? Because four Indian lifters have been caught using banned substances.

While Tejinder Singh and Edwin Raju tested positive at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Shailaja Pujari and Boradi Preemavalli were detected by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in India.

The International Federation said on its website: "Regrettably, four adverse analytical findings were reported on the occasion of doping controls carried out on the Indian National team members this year. The IWF has been suspended, the duration of which will be decided by the International Federation Executive Board at the end of May."

Why India indulges in pre-competition screening?

Though prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), India indulges in pre-competition dope testing because of a Delhi High Court order directing to the same. In order to avoid contempt of court, SAI conducts the tests, a Sports Ministry official said.

Since this is the second time that three or more lifters from India have tested positive, rules say the suspension could be between two and five years.

A high-level inquiry has been instituted by the Sports Authority of India and IWF officials are scheduled to meet the secretary, Sports Ministry on Thursday.

In August 2004, the IWF was banned after three women lifters were caught for doping.

India may also find itself in a bigger soup because it is not adhering to WADA rules that prohibit pre-competition screening. Every sportsperson leaving Indian shores is being tested but ministry officials say they are simply following Delhi High Court orders.

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