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IWF fails to give explanation

The Indian Weightlifting Federation seems to be lost for an explanation for the latest dope scandal.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2006 19:16 IST

The Indian Weightlifting Federation seems to be lost for an explanation for the latest dope scandal to hit it resulting in a second ban in less than two years.

IWF President HJ Dora, also the Chef-de-mission of the Indian contingent to the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, was, on the one hand, basking in the glory of the splendid performance by the athletes, especially the lifters, and, on the other hand, hard pressed to react to various queries on the positive dope test of Edwin Raju and Tejinder Singh.

"Despite our best efforts, this scourge refuses to leave us. We thought the worst was behind us last year but it has come back to haunt us," Dora said.

He claimed the two lifters were tested negative before leaving for Melbourne and expressed surprise at the turn of events. Both of them tested positive for stanozole in Melbourne.

"I do not understand why these two lifters will take performance enhancing drugs when it does not improve their results in any way," the WFI president said.

Raju finished fourth in the 56 kg category while Tejinder withdrew from the 85 kg competition citing illness.

"The same was the case with Pujari Shailaja who would have got a gold medal lifting below her personal best. She did not need to resort to doping," Dora claimed.

He put the case of women lifter B Prameelavalli in the same category.

"The lifters had come out clean in WADA dope tests. None of them tested positive and nobody disappeared ahead of the tests.

"I had warned them that if they ran away from the tests, that would be the end of their careers. But they assured that they had nothing to hide and willingly underwent the tests," Dora said.

The IWF President also denied that the coaches had a hand in the wrongdoings.

"Why would a coach induce one or two lifters to use performance enhancing drugs? After all, it is the same coach for every athlete," he pointed out.

The Commonwealth Games Chef-de-mission also indirectly hinted at possible foul play in the recurring dopen saga.

"May be, there are certain elements who get jealous at our success at international competitions," he said.

But we cannot make such claims as we can never substantiate such claims, Dora said.

"The hospitality accorded to us in Melbourne was excellent. There were 15,000 volunteers who worked night and day without any monetary rewards. We cannot point a finger at them.

"But one never knows about the dope testing laboratories," he said.

First Published: Apr 05, 2006 18:31 IST