New Delhi: The menace of doping in Indian weightlifting once again came to the fore on Friday when only one weightlifter turned up for the selection trials of the Delhi state team after words spread that random dope test would be conducted during the trials.
“At least 100 to 125 weightlifters were expected to turn up for the trials to select the Delhi team for the national championship to be held in Nagpur at the end of this month,” said a senior official of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF).
“On reaching the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the venue for the trials, the local association officials and selectors found that only one weightlifter was present. On enquiry, they found that no other lifter had turned up fearing random dope test,” the official added.
As per the instruction of the national body, the Delhi weightlifting association requested the National Anti Doping Agency (Nada) to send its team to conduct the dope tests. Nada informed the organisers that apart from collecting samples of six lifters it had already identified, all other weightlifters would be subject to random tests.
“The introduction of dope tests was surely the reason why there was such a huge number of absentees. The trials could not be held… We don’t know whether the Delhi squad could be selected at all,” another official said.