Lucknow, Dec 7 (IANS) In a first-of-its-kind incident in Lucknow’s Sports Authority of India (SAI), three weightlifters, including a national-level medallist, have been found guilty of using banned substances and have been suspended and debarred from the campus.
All the three – including a female athlete – were on the radar of the internal team of the SAI here, as they were involved in suspicious activities since their induction in the SAI centre four-five months back.
One of the lifters was even spotted by a security guard catching a packet of banned substance thrown by somebody from over the boundary into the campus.
Their involvement in the crime came to light when the National Anti-Doping Agency’s (NADA) team found those drugs in their blood following a test conducted last month.
The female weightlifter is from Lucknow itself and was training at the KD Singh ‘Babu’ Stadium centre (often in the arc lights for similar reasons), before joining the SAI centre here.
“Following a report from NADA, all three lifters have been banned and debarred with immediate effect, and we have recommended to higher authorities for their permanent removal from the campus,” said executive director of SAI’s Lucknow centre, Sanjay Saraswat.
“In fact, our internal committee, including a sports science expert, had already told us about the suspicious activities of these three, and we confirmed it through the checking of what they carry back in from their weekly outings,” he added.
He also said that one of the lifters got the packet of banned substance from her fiancé – accused of supplying dope to sportspersons in the state capital – whereas the two male lifters got the packet of banned substance through courier.
Saraswat said that every packet or luggage of all 169 athletes in different disciplines under the National Centre of Excellence here is being checked thoroughly on a routine basis, besides running weekly classes of the anti-doping campaign under which, all coaches interact with their trainees on a regular basis just to tell them about doping.