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India left red-faced as gold medallist weighlifter flunks dope test

New Delhi: Dope shame returned to haunt Indian weightlifting once again with 2011 Commonwealth Championships gold medallist lifter Rupinder Singh returning positive for an anabolic steroid in the test conducted in December last year.

Rupinder was among 31 lifters whose urine samples were collected in the national capital by the National Anti-Doping Agency doctors on December 5 last on the request of Indian Weightlifting Federation.

He had won a gold in the senior men's +105kg snatch at the 2011 Commonwealth Championships in Cape Town. He also won a silver each in clean and jerk and total lift.

"Rupinder's urine sample 'A' tested positive for an anabolic steroid and we have provisionally suspended him. The NADA will decide how long he will be banned under their process," IWLF vice-president Sahdev Yadav told PTI.

Rupinder faces upto two-year ban if his 'B' sample also returns positive.

India had won a whopping 110 medals, including 53 gold in the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships which had included senior, junior and youth competitions together.

Yadav said after giving the urine sample on December 5, Rupinder took part in the All India Police Meet at Hotwar in Jharkhand same month and his sample taken during that event also returned positive for banned substance.

"We have got the results of both the out-of-competition done on our request on December 5 and the one done in in-competition during the All India Police Meet. Both samples of Rupinder returned positive," Yadav said.

Yadav said the IWLF had called 51 lifters to give urine samples but only 31 turned up here on December 5 and so the remaining 20 lifters who did not turn up will not be allowed to take part in the Senior National Championships to be held in Nagpur next month.

Top names among the 20 who did not turn up include Monika Devi, Srishti Singh, Swati Singh and Himanshu Chang. "We had called 51 lifters to give their urine samples at the NADA here but only 31 came to give their samples. We have decided to bar 20 lifters who did not turn up. They will not be allowed to take part in the Senior Nationals," Yadav said.

In the last few years, doping cases had more or less disappeared from Indian weightlifting but it seems it has come back again.

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