Indian weightlifter banned for life

Shailaja Pujari banned for life after testing positive for drugs.

    Pujari has received a life ban after a career littered with doping offences [AFP]
    Indian weightlifter Shailaja Pujari has been banned for life for doping and five other Indian lifters have received four-year drug bans.

    Pujari, the 75-kilogram gold medallist at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, tested positive for a banned substance in September for her second doping offence.

    She also tested positive for steroids in 2006 and was dropped from the Indian team for the Commonwealth Games.

    Vicky Batta, a Commonwealth Games silver medallist in 2006, was among the five others banned for four years and fined $5,000.

    Sanctions

    The sanctions, imposed by the international weightlifting federation, were confirmed Friday by Birendra P Baishya, president of the Indian national body.

    The Indian weightlifting team has been beset with doping problems over the last few years.

    Indian lifters were barred from competing at the 2006 Asian Games after four competitors tested positive within a 12-month period.

    Monika Devi, India's only weightlifter selected for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was withdrawn after an alleged doping offence.

    Baishya, who recently took over the helm of the Indian weightlifting body, said he planned to clean up the sport.

    "I am determined to make it a drug-free federation and win medals without drugs,'' he said.

    SOURCE: AP


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