No future for Indian weightlifting: Salama

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Patiala, Feb 18: Egypt-born weightlifting coach, Maged Salama, who is based in Austria, says that,''There is no future for Indian weightlifting.'' ''Several Indian lifters, particularly women lifters, are over thirty years of age, and they do not want to undergo rigorous training in my camp,'' Salama told the sources.

''They are high on drugs as encouraged by the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and I cannot accept this in any case.'' The Indian lifters were exposed in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007 for using banned substances, and were also reprimanded and penalised by the International Weightlifting Federation. Still, they do not desist from taking performance-enhancing drugs which is, of course, totally detrimental to Indian weightlifting. Accusing the secretary-general of the IWF, Balbir Singh Bhatia, Salama said, ''He is happy with his own interest and business, and turns a blind eye to the use of drugs by Indian lifters.

''The IWF wanted to restart the national weightlifting camp at the NIS from February 20 with the same lifters and similar conditions. But I have refused to take the camp as I do not want my image and reputation, as weightlifting coach, to be tarnished.'' In view of this murky situation, a meeting between the government, SAI, Federation and NIS officials, has been fixed for tomorrow here at the NIS to sort out the problem which is killing Indian weightlifting.

Salama submitted his resignation to the SAI last month, endorsing a copy to the International Weightlifting Federation, which is yet to be accepted.

UNI

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