Several Indian weightlifters have been tested positive by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for banned substances, the sport’s national body IWLF confirmed Wednesday.
The details of the lifters, who were randomly tested during the National weightlifting championships held on February 21-28, are not yet known.
The news comes ahead of the Commonwealth Championship slated to begin from July 9 at Apia, Samoa. Traditionally India is known to dominate at the Commonwealth level.
“Yes, some weightlifters have been tested positive but we are awaiting the full report prepared by NADA. Once the entire report is sent to us only then can we make any further comments,” IWLF General Secretary Sahdev Yadav told PTI.
As per procedure, the ‘B’ samples of the lifters will now be tested. If those samples also return positive the weightlifters could face a ban up to four years.
Yadav lamented that even though the federation is extremely vigil, lifters find ways to consume performance enhancing drugs.
“We have become stricter and in the nationals we got the lifters tested. It’s difficult for us to monitor them as they go and consume banned substances at home. We can’t do anything about that.”
Weightlifting is one of the most affected sports when it comes to doping violations. To curb the menace, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has also drafted stricter rules.
Indian weightlifting has always grappled with dope controversies and as per the new Olympic Qualifying Policy, India has been restricted to competing for only four Olympic quota places — two men and as many women — due to the number of positive dope cases exceeding 10. The quota places could decrease to two if the number of cases reaches 20.
However, this latest incident will not be taken into account by the IWF and thus India’s Olympic quota remains unaffected.
“IWF will take no action in this case. If weightlifters fail dope tests conducted by WADA at an international IWF sanctioned event then the world body takes action. So our Olympic quota doesn’t get affected,” Yadav said.