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3rd lifter fails test, IWF faces ban

New Delhi: Indian weightlifters’s participation in next year’s Commonwealth Games is in jeopardy as the national federation is facing the prospect of a one-year ban after a third positive dope test.

Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) secretary B.R. Gulati confirmed that after the already-tainted Shailaja Pujari and Vicky Batta were caught for the second time, woman lifter Priyadarshini, too, has flunked a dope test.

“Priyadarshini was tested in Pune on August 7 and 8 during trials, and was found positive. The National Anti-Doping Agency report says she was using a masking agent to save herself from getting caught for taking banned substances,” Gulati said.

Although Gulati refused to comment on the possibility of a ban, sources in the IWF said the penalty seems unavoidable. “Priyadarshini has been caught for the first time and she might face a two-year ban for it,” the source said.

According to the rules of the International Weightlifting Federation, a national federation can be banned for a year if three of its lifters test positive for a banned substance.

“The rules are clear, the national federation can be banned for a year if there are three positive dope tests in a year. IWF can escape the ban if it can pay Rs 1 lakh fine,” the source said.

Earlier, Shailaja had tested poitive for a banned anabolic steroid in a National Anti-Doping Agency test, while Vicky had been caught by the World Anti-Doping Agency. If IWF is banned, the Indian lifters would not be able to participate in the October 3-14 Games.

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