The participation of Indian weightifters in next year's Commonwealth Games is in jeopardy as the national federation is facing the prospect of a one-year ban after a third positive dope test.
Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) secretary B R Gulati confirmed that after already-tainted Shailja Pujari and Vicky Batta were caught for the second time, woman lifter Priyadarshini too has flunked a dope test.
"Priyadarshini was tested in Pune on August 7 and 8 during trials and was found positive. The National Anti-Doping Agency report says she was using a masking agent to save herself from getting caught for taking banned substances," Gulati told PTI-Bhasha.
Although Gulati refused to comment on the possibility of a ban, sources in the IWF said the penalty seems unavoidable.
"Piyadarshini has been caught for the first time and she might face a two-year ban for it," the source said.
According to the rules of International Weightlifting Federation, a national federation can be banned for a year if three of its lifters test positive for a banned substance.
"The rules are clear, the national federation can be banned for a year if there are three positive dope tests in a year. IWF can escape the ban if it can pay Rs 1 lakh fine," the source said.
Earlier, Shailja had tested poitive for a banned anabolic steroid in a NADA test while Vicky had been caught by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
If IWF is banned, the Indian lifters would not be able to participate in the October 3 to 14 Games.
The Federation would also have to shell out $5,000 for every failed dope test.
IWF has been banned twice previously, the last time being in 2006 when Shailja, B Pramilavalli, Edwin Raju and Tejinder Singh tested positive. The ban was lifted six months later after the IWF gave a USD 50,000 fine.Meanwhile, sources said Shailja has not yet sought a test of her B sample. If she doesn't seeks one in the next couple of days, it would be taken as admission of guilt and she would be banned immediately.