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Indian party marred, CGF confirms Indian lifters tested positive

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Melbourne, Mar 24: India was disgraced again and its reputation lay in tatters with the official confirmation that two of the weightlifters -- Tejinder Singh and Edwin Raju -- have tested positive in the Commonwealth Games.

The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) is now likely to go the Nigerian way as a ban by the International body is imminent and the ban can be from one year to five year.

As per the rules of the International body, if three or more lifters of any country are tested positive in one year, that federation/country faces a ban ranging from one to five years.

Nigerian weightlifting federation is also banned because of these reasons.

The worst fears thus came true and the Indian officials, who last night held a lavish party here to celebrate the hosting of the Games in 2010 in Delhi, were left red-faced, trying to hide the shame inflicted on the country by the lifters.

Among the disgraced lifters, Tejinder withdrew from the competition at the last moment while Edwin had finished fourth in his category.

This is the second time in a row that the lifters in the Commonwealth Games ruined the Indian party. Last time, lifters Sateesha Rai and K Madaswamy tarnished country's reputation in 2002 at Manchester.

''Yes, we confirm that two weightlifters from India have tested positive but because of protocol their names can not be disclosed,'' Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Chairman Mike Fennell said here today. ''The 'B' sample of these two lifters has also been found positive,'' he told a packed media conference and added ''This Information has been conveyed the chef-de-mission of Indian Contingent Mr HJ Dora.'' Incidentally Mr Dora is also the President of the Indian Weightlifting Federation.

Mr Fennell also said that of the two lifters, one did not take part in the competition, thus confirming the doubts about Tejinder Singh and Edwin Raju.

''The announcement is made after completing all the necessary procedures,'' CGF chief executive Mike Hooper added.

Yesterday it was disclosed that 85 kg class lifter Tejinder, who withdrew from the Games competition at the last minute on Monday, has tested positive but the Indian contested the positive drug result and appealed to the Court of Arbitration of Sport.

Other lifter under the scanner was Edwin Raju, who had finished 4th in 56 kg category.

The CGF confirmed all these reports and put its seal on them by saying that lifters 'B' sample have also been tested positive.

Under drug-testing rules, athletes who test positive during Games testing, which started when the athlete village opened, are suspended until their hearing is complete.

An athlete choosing to contest the initial result can demand to be present during the opening of the B sample at a Sydney laboratory.

The sample took another 48 hours to analyse and only after its confirmation the CGF made the announcement.

The Australian Sports authority is conducting more than 1000 tests, including at least 300 blood tests, as part of the Games testing on behalf of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

UNI

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Commonwealth Games 2006

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