Indian weightlifting is back in the news but this time, for all the wrong reasons. The ‘Indian Weightlifting Federation’ (IWF), has provisionally banned 21 weightlifters after they flunked doping tests. The athletes tested positive for banned substances in different domestic competitions. Most of these doping offenses were at the National Youth and Junior Weightlifting championships, Yamunanagar, held earlier this year.
4 year ban as per revised NADA rules:
“Yes, 21 lifters have tested positive and have been provisionally suspended, pending the result of their ‘B’ sample tests”
said Indian Weighlifting Federation secretary Sahdev Yadav. If the sample B tests come out positive, the drug offenders stand to face a ban for four years (according to revised National Anti-Doping Agency rules).
For sporting a larges number of dope offenders, states like Delhi, Haryana and Punjab also stand in danger of being suspended for an year. If the Indian Weighlifting Federation goes forward with this ban, weightlifters from these states will not be allowed to participate in any competition for an year.
A Sad History of Indian Weightlifting
Doping has been a blot on the sporting history of Indian Weightlifting. We’ve been embarrassed before because of doping scandals, with the Indian Weighlifting Federation being suspended in 2004 after Sanamachu Chanu tested negative. Perhaps the need of the hour is to increase awareness at the grassroot levels, and slap serious punishment against multiple-time offenders.
Doping, is perhaps an easier way out, but our athletes need to realise that the “end-justifies-the-means” argument is flimsy and served usually to justify the worst of actions. For run as you might, you do get caught and an asterisk next to your achievements would clearly denote that these achievements were tainted.