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Tainted weight-lifter Edwin Raju grilled by ASI inquiry panel

Written by: Staff
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Pune, Mar 28 (UNI) Tainted weightlifter Edwin Raju and team-mate Zakir Asadullah were grilled for six hours by a three-member inquiry panel of officers from the city-based Army Sports Institute (ASI) over the last two days to establish facts pertaining to doping charges at the 18th Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne recently.

Raju and Tejinder Singh had tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid, bringing disrepute to the country.

The three-member inquiry panel comprises Lt Col K S Gehlot, Lt Col R K Nayak and Maj Prabhu Dayal. Twenty two-year-old Raju of Bombay Engineer Group (BEG) and Centre, Khadki, had returned to his unit on Saturday.

ASI commandant Col S Alhawat told UNI here today that the inquiry was intended at determining what prompted Edwin Raju to make use of the banned steroid. ''The purpose of the whole exercise is to educate our sportsmen so that they do not commit the same mistake again and bring bad name to the country and the institution,'' Col Alhawat said.

The report of the independent inquiry panel would be sent to Army Headquarters and the Union Ministry of Sports, Col Alhawat said.

Before leaving for Melbourne, the lifters were screened and had tested negative. Even the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had screened the lifters before leaving for the Games and the tests had been negative, Col Alhawat said.

Meanwhile, hearing into the two Indian weightlifters, who tested positive for banned steroids at the Games, has been adjourned after Raju failed a second test.

Raju, who competed in the 56-kg weightlifting category, had finished fourth. He was later reported to have tested positive for a banned substance stanozolol. Raju was among the two ASI lifters at the Commonwealth Games. The other ASI lifter, Mohammed Zakir Asadullah, had bagged a silver in the 77-kg category.

UNI IS MAZ DH BS1759

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