Tainted IWF forfeits right to host Asian junior meet

The Asian Youth and Junior Championships were scheduled to be held in Pune from December 16-24 but the IWF has requested the Asian body to shift the event out of India.

IWF general secretary Baldev Raj Gulati said the federation does not expect sponsorship as well as government support because of the failed drugs tests, and the Asian Weightlifting Federation has accepted its request to hold the event in another country.

“There has been a lot of negative publicity going around in the wake of dope results. We don’t expect government support or help from small sponsors. Without them, we can’t hold the event. So we have told the Asian federation that we are not in a position to hold the championships. The Asian body has accepted our request,” Gulati said.

Five lifters failed out-of-competition dope tests conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the National Anti-Doping Association last month and if at least three ‘B’ samples return positive, the IWF faces the prospect of an international ban.

The Indian case is certain to be on the agenda of the Executive Meeting of the International Weightlifting Federation before the November 17-29 World Championships at Goyang in Korea.

Gulati is hoping for the best so that the country does not face the ignominy of not fielding any lifters in the Commonwealth Games here next October.

“We are hoping for the best when the international federation meets in Korea. The maximum penalty is four years but they may impose a hefty fine and a ban for a shorter period,” he said.

Meanwhile, three of the five lifters who tested positive have said they would be going for the ‘B’ sample test. Two others are yet to inform the federation, though the deadline to do so ended on Tuesday.

“Three lifters have informed in writing that they want the ‘B’ sample tested.
The test will be conducted in the WADA-accredited laboratory at Cologne in Germany as under WADA rules, the ‘B’ sample tests will also be conducted at the same laboratory where the ‘A’ sample tests were done,” Gulati said.

Gulati also made it clear that none of the seven lifters were campers preparing for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“None of the seven are in the Commonwealth Games camps. A couple of them were selected in the last induction for the camps but they, including Shailaja Pujari, have not joined the camp,” he said.

Shailaja and another dope offender, Seepana Yamini, were dropped from the country’s squad for the Commonwealth Championships in Malaysia last week in which India won 27 medals, including 17 gold.

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