Another weightlifter, Sunita Kumari of Punjab, has tested positive for a banned substance in tests conducted by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) in Pune last month.
Confirming Sunita’s positive test, a top official of the Indian Weightlifting Federation told The Hindu on Friday that the athlete had been intimated about her returning positive.
If Sunita opts for the ‘B’ sample test, then she has to apply for it by the first week of next month.
So far, eight weightlifters have tested positive for banned substances and the Indian federation faces a ban and/or a heavy fine by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).
The penalty is likely to be decided by the IWF Executive Board, which meets on November 18, prior to the World championships in Goyang, South Korea.
Earlier, Shailaja Pujari, Vijaya Devi, Vicky Batta, Rajesh Kumar and Harbhajan Singh had tested positive in tests conducted by the IWF/WADA.
Priyadarshini and S. Yamini returned ‘positive’ results in tests carried bout by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA). Pujari also tested positive in a NADA test.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has formed a committee under the chairmanship of K.P. Singh Deo to enquire into the matter and give its recommendations.
The panel has held a few meetings and heard some of the ‘accused’ lifters.
Meanwhile, the Indian federation has started sending out demands of payment from the weightlifters who have tested positive. Each lifter, charged with a ‘positive’ test is being asked to pay a fine of Rs. 25,000 to the Indian federation and $5000 to the IWF within one month.
In case the lifters fail to give the fine amount to be paid to the IWF, the Indian federation is likely to be saddled with the task of paying $30,000 (for six lifters in the event all of them are suspended) apart from any other fine the IWF may impose.