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India Win Another Medal After Nigerian Lifter Fails Dope Test

Philem Dipak Singh/Glasgow

India got one more medal in the women's 53 kg weightlifting after Swati Singh was handed the bronze while Matsha Santoshi was upgraded to silver after 16-year-old Nigerian gold winner Chika Amalaha tested positive for a banned substance in the Commonwealth Games here today.

Santoshi had finished third and Swati fourth in the women's 53 kg weightlifting competition held on July 25. They will now get a silver and bronze, respectively.

"We have got official intimation from the Glasgow 2014 organisers that Santoshi's bronze will be upgraded to silver, while 4th placed Swati will get the bronze," Indian Weightlifting Federation Vice-President Sahdev Yadav told PTI here today.

"Now we will get 12 medals (three gold, four silver, five bronze) from weightlifting in the Games, two medals more than in 2010 Delhi. It is a huge achievement for us," he added.

"This remarkable achievement surpassed the medal tally of previous two editions of Commonwealth Games (nine medals in 2006 and eight in 2010)."

Before the 2006 Melbourne Games, three gold and same number of silver and bronze were awarded in each weight category (one each for snatch, clean and jerk, and total). Since 2006, only one gold, silver and bronze were awarded in each weight category in line with other sports.

Since the Indian contingent has been informed about the upgradation of the medals by the Glasgow 2014 organisers, the Nigerian lifter must have returned positive in her B sample also. 

Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive Mike Hooper had yesterday announced that Amalaha had tested positive for a banned substance and re-awarding of medals if required will be done after her B sample test report comes in.

"She (Amalaha) provided a positive A sample after she won her gold in the 53kg category. We are following the correct procedures at this time and whilst that is going ahead she will be suspended," Hooper had said yesterday at the daily media briefing.

"We shouldn't presume anything just yet, once she has provided a B sample that is when we can decide on the re-awarding of medals and appropriate actions."

Amalaha's case is the first one relating to a dope offence in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Indian weightlifting women's coach Hansa Sharma said that the team has become team champions in both men's and women's sections.

"It is a big achievement for the Indian weightlifting team. We collected a rich haul of medals. We have been declared team champions in both men and women," she said.

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OUTLOOK 30 July, 2014
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