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Coach denied me Commonwealth gold, alleges lifter

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 25 (UNI) Controversies refuse to spare weightlifting in the country and coach K Amarnath finds himself in the line of fire after Simple Kaur Bumrah alleged that she had to settle for a silver in the 75+ category because the coach did not want her to win the Commonwealth Games gold.

Though Simple did not name Mr Amarnath, the lifter, on her arrival from Melbourne last night, said, ''I could have done much better but for the situation that was created there to ensure I don't win the gold.'' Interesingly, the gold went to her compatriot Geeta Rani and Simple hinted Mr Amamrnath favoured Geeta and wanted her to win the gold.

Pressed to elaborate, Simple evaded a direct answer but said, ''I'm not at all happy with my silver because I know I could have won the gold. I could not do that and the coach is responsible for that. He created a situation there so that I could not do better.'' Apart from Mr Amarnath, Hansal Sharma is the other Indian weightlifting coach.

Simple looked set for the gold in Melbourne as she established a new Games record in snatch in her third attempt. But quite surprisingly, she was given a lesser weight in her final attempt in clean and jerk even though she was assured of silver by then.

In the all-Indian two-horse race in clean-and-jerk, Geeta lifted 137 kg in her final attemp and interestingtly, Simple was given a weight of 135 for her final effort which she lifted with ease and finished second.

Geeta totalled 241 kgs for gold (104+137) while Simple was second at 240 (105+135).

Simple, meanwhile, had no sympathy for the two male lifters who failed dope tests in Melbourne.

''I have nothing to say about them. I am pre-occupied with my performance. If there are people who want to do those things, let them do and face the consequences,'' she said.

Women team manager Harbhajan Singh said he had no idea how Edwin Raju and Tejinder Singh could fail the dope tests.

''There is a strict anti-drug policy and you can't escape the dragnet. Only fools would resort to such practices. Our lifters cleared the WADA tests before leaving for Melbourne and I don't have any idea how it happened.'' UNI AY PM RN1453

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