Indian weightlifters will have it tough

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Indian weightlifters hope for good show
London, Jul 27: They are returning to the Olympics after eight years and more than the medals, the Indian weightlifters would feel the pressure of staying clear of the dope taint at the London Olympics 2012 which has haunted the country in this discipline for about a decade.

Olympics Special

In fact, little is expected in terms of medals from the two lifters -- K Ravi Kumar (69kg) and N Soniya Chanu (48kg) -- at the London Games but when they enter the arena they would like to script a new beginning.

A beginning should have come about when Karnam Malleshwari (69kg) raised the profile of the game in India by several notches after bagging bronze at the 2000 Sydney Olympics but the downfall started with a innumerable doping scandals.

While Malleshwari failed to repeat her feat in the next Olympics at Athens in 2004, Kunjarani Devi and Sanamacha Chanu also could not bag any medal.

On top of that, Sanamacha and Pratima Kumari tested positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs, which damaged the country's image. In fact, that was the first time ever that Indian sportspersons, in any discipline ever, were held for doping at the Olympics.

Four years later, L Monika Devi was also stopped from boarding the flight to Beijing at the last-minute for doping. The drug menace continued to haunt Indian weightlifting till 2010.

Barely days after the country was saved from international ban, which included missing the Commonwealth Games, Sanamacha once again failed a NADA dope test, her second offence after being caught at Athens Olympics. India learnt its the lesson the hard way after two international suspensions and a number of individual bans.

PTI

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