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Rai loses medals, India its third spot

London: Satheesha Rai, one of two Indian weightlifters to test positive for drugs at the Commonwealth Games, has been stripped of the two gold medals and a bronze he won in Manchester.

Rai, who featured in the menís 77kg category, tested positive for the prohibited stimulant strychnine and has been asked to return his medals, the Commonwealth Games Federation said in a statement Thursday.

The federation said it decided to disqualify Rai and readjust the results after considering the athleteís submissions.

Indiaís 62kg lifter Krishnan Madasamy was stripped of three silver medals after testing positive for a metabolite of the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone.

Rai, in a press conference after the contingentís return to India, had maintained that he was innocent. He had said that a Commonwealth Games gold wasnít a big thing for him because he had won better golds. He said he had had pre-testing, and had been declared drug-free in nearly 20 international events. The Indian Olympic Association, though, had taken his medals away and they were with A.S.V. Prasad.

India had won an unprecedented 32 golds in a medal haul of 72 to finish third behind Australia and England in the Games running from July 25 to August 4.

As a result of the disqualification Welshman Dave Morgan, will be recognised as the gold medallist. Craig Blythman of Australia will receive a bronze medal in the snatch category.

Also as a result of the disqualification, India lose their third position, overall, a rank decided mainly by the number of golds in the kitty. The third place now goes to Canada.

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