Only 4 out of 12 medallists tested for doping: Weightlifting coach

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 07, 2014, 21:21 PM IST

New Delhi: Indian weightlifters and doping have finally parted ways, feels a relieved women`s team coach Hansa Sharma, who was at the background as the country`s lifters bagged as many as 12 medals at the Commonwealth Games, thus burying the ghosts associated with the doping menace.

With the dozen medals came a new-found cleaner image, something the Indian Weightlifting Federation had been searching for.

"Only two out of our five girls who won medals at the CWG were tested. The gold and silver medallists (Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu) were tested on first day but after that there were no tests conducted. None of the Indians were called for random tests also," Sharma told PTI.

"In men`s category also, only two were tested out of seven medallists. This says a lot about the image India carried into the Games this time around. The organisers knew that India was well prepared this time," she added.

Elaborating on how the IWF managed to curb the menace, Sharma said some strict actions were taken by the federation as well as the Government.

"The lifters are mostly there in the camps under the supervision of the coaches. They are being strictly instructed to stay under the supervision of the government all the time. The rules have become so strict that there is very less chance of the athletes getting misguided.

"Moreover, they are getting the dietary supplements from the Government in abundance and that has helped in their quick recovery. Hence, there is no chance of using supplements from outside," explained Sharma, the coach of the women`s team.

"Thirdly, from time to time, the lifters have been educated about all aspects related to doping," she said.

Indian weightlifters exceeded expectations at the Glasgow Games, winning three gold, four silver and five bronze, an improvement of four medals from the 2010 Delhi edition.

Asked if the lifters could be expected to put up a similar show at the Asiad, to be held at Incheon, Sharma said the standard of competition would be much higher and it was tough to predict a medal count.

"The standard of competition will be very high. Most weightlifters who compete at the Asiad are Olympic prospects. So, talking realistically, it is going to be really tough for our lifters. But we are leaving no stone unturned as far as training is concerned."