Non-participation of Indian weightlifters in the Commonwealth Games if USD 3,75,000 doping fine is not paid by August 31 will severely impact the sports in the country with most of the lifters likely to end their career prematurely,national body chief Birendra Prasad Baishya said.
Indian Weightlifting Federation was fined USD 5 lakh after six lifters tested positive last year and the national body has paid USD 1,25,000 from its resources in two installments.
It had asked Indian Olympic Association and the Sports Ministry an interest free loan of Rs one crore each to pay the remaining USD 3,75,000 fine by August 31 deadline but is yet to get assurance from both.
Baishya said he was still hopeful that the Ministry and the IOA will bail the IWF out but said it would be shameful for the country not to be able to field its lifters when the Games are held at home.
“I am still hopeful that the Ministry and IOA will help us pay the fine. It will be a shameful thing if the lifters are barred from participating in the Commonwealth Games at home,” Baishya,also an official of the IOA,said.
“We are hoping to get 14-15 medals but the lifters will be severely demoralised. If they don’t take part in the Commonwealth Games I think most of these young lifters may end their career,” he said.
“Most of the weightlifters come from poor background and their are aiming high to bring laurels to the country. So they are training very hard and it will be a pity if they don’t take part in the Commonwealth Games,” he added.
Baishya,however,refused to comment on the letter sent by the Ministry to the IOA and CWG OC today to impress upon the International Weightlifting Federation for reduction of the penalty amount and re-scheduling of the payment.
“I can’t comment on that as it is a matter between the Ministry and IOA. My concern is now for the weightlifters who are training hard thinking that they will take part in the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
The Sports Ministry today wrote a letter to CWG OC and IOA to sort out doping fine issue by asking International Weightlifting Federation for reduction of the “prohibitive” fine and rescheduling of the payment so that Indian lifters can take part in the CWG and Asian Games in China in November.