The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) has suspended its Haryana unit for one year after three of its lifters tested positive for banned substances at the National youth and junior championship, held at Jagadhri, Haryana, from January 2 to 9. The lifters are Sunny Arya, Gurmail Singh and Surender.

“They have returned positive results for their ‘B' samples after which they have been handed provisional suspensions,” said IWLF Secretary Sahdev Yadav on Friday.

“The suspension on Haryana will continue till January 8, 2012, during which Haryana cannot participate in any championship,” Yadav added.

He said that the State association would have to pay a fine of Rs. 50,000. Besides, it would be required to deposit an additional fine of Rs. 50,000 for every athlete who had failed the dope test. According to Yadav, Praveen (the coach of Sunny and Gurmail) and Inderpal Singh (the coach of Surender) had also been suspended for two years.

Last month, IWLF had handed similar suspensions to the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) and the Maharashtra. In both the cases, the suspensions had come even before the athletes were adjudged guilty by the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel.

Yadav justified IWLF's decision. “We are strict against doping. If the lifters are exonerated by the NADA panel, then we will lift all sanctions.”

He, however, did not explain how a unit or its athletes who would have suffered during the intervening period by not being able to compete, could be compensated at a later stage.

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