Sports Ministry asks IOA to resolve weightlifting fine issue
New Delhi: With the deadline to pay a hefty fine of USD 3.75 lakh to the International Weightlifting Federation just two weeks away, the Sports Ministry has written to the IOA for the second time in one month asking it resolve the issue so that India can participate in the
Commonwealth and Asian Games.
The letter addressed to Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi, Sports Secretary Sindhushree Khullar pointed out that the deadline of August 31 was fast approaching and the IOA needed to resolve the matter immediately.
Indian Weightlifting Federation Secretary General Sahdev Yadav said the national body expects a commitment from the IOA and the ministry soon.
"We have got a copy of the ministry letter to the IOA President marked to us. We have requested the IOA and the Sports Ministry to bail us out. We are expecting to hear from them. If not, the weightlifters will not take part in the Commonwealth Games," Yadav told reporters.
Out of USD 5,00,000 fine imposed by the international federation after six Indian lifters flunked dope tests in September last year, IWF is yet to pay USD 3,75,000 apart from individual fines and `B` sample testing charges amounting to another USD 31,000.
IWF has already paid USD 1,25,000 from its own pocket in two instalments and if the remaining amount is not paid by August 31, Indian lifters will be barred from taking part in international events, including the October 3-14 Commonwealth Games here and Asian Games in China in November.
Minister of State of Sports Pratik Prakashbapu Patil informed the Lok Sabha while replying to a query that the IOA has been asked to sort out the issue at the earliest.
"International Weightlifting Federation has imposed a penalty of USD 5 lakh on Indian federation for violation of anti-doping rules. An additional fine of USD 31,000 has also been imposed on six lifters for testing positive. Indian Weightlifting Federation has already paid USD 1,25,000 and is yet to pay USD 3,75,000 + USD 31,000 by August 31, 2010 before they are allowed to participate in forthcoming international events including Commonwealth Games," he said.
"Indian Weightlifting Federation has informed that it is not in a position to pay the balance amount of penalty and is dependent on the IOA or Sports Ministry for financial assistance. Ministry has asked the IOA to resolve the matter at the earliest in consultation with International
Weightlifting Federation so as to ensure participation of Indian weightlifting team in the Commonwealth Games," he added.