Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Indian Weightlifting Federation must act against doping menace

This piece was published in Sportskeeda

The 2015 World Weightlifting Championship is on in USA, but doping scare continues to haunt Indian weightlifting. The latest development of two Indian women weightlifters – Pramila Krisani and Minati Sethi – being tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs – has once brought to the fore one thing – the Indian Weightlifting Federation(IWF) hasn’t done quite enough to cope with the doping menace.

Indian weightlifting has been replete with doping offences. Both Pramila Krisani and Minati Sethi were dropped from the national team that is competing in the World Weightlifting Championships. More importantly, there might not be enough light at the end of the tunnel for the IWF as the body could face a ban from the International Weightlifting Federation.

It may be worth recalling that the International Weightlifting Federation’s rules clearly stipulate that if three weightlifters of a country are tested positive in a calendar day, the world body will slap a one–year ban. If indeed a ban is imposed on the national body, it could ruin India’s participation in next year’s Rio Olympic Games. “India have seen so many weightlifters tested positive over the years. Indian Weightlifting Federation has been banned thrice earlier (2004, 2006 and 2009) and does not have a great reputation at all. The latest incident of two girls testing positive might prompt the world body to slap a ban on us,” said a former IWF official.

Both Pramila Krisani and Minati Sethi had failed dope tests – they were tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid during the recently Commonwealth Championships at Pune and were provisionally suspended from all competitions held under the banner of the International Weightlifting Federation. Krisani had won silver in the 53kg category and had also won the women’s 53kg gold in the senior nationals at Jaipur in March. Sethi had clinched bronze in the 58kg at the Commonwealth Championships in Pune.

What puts the national body in poor light is the fact that both these weightlifters had been attending the Olympic Games preparatory camp at Patiala for long and hadn’t tested positive in national meets or in any out-of-competition tests at Patiala. It clearly means something is wrong somewhere as one fails to understand how lifters who came clean in domestic meets go on to test positive international meets. IWF must treat this latest incident with utmost seriousness.

Only in last September, two lifters, Jameer Hussian and Aporva Chettri, failed pre-departure tests conducted by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) ahead of the Asian championship.
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