Tainted lifter Satheesha bags top Karnataka post

first_imgStrange are the ways of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF). On one hand, it claims that it is cleansing the body of dope cheats but at the same time, it has allowed tainted Satheesha Rai to become vice-president of the Karnataka Sate Weightlifting Association (KSWA).Satheesha was banned for life in 2008 after testing positive for a second dope offence at the 2008 National Games in Guwahati.IWF president BP Baishya confirmed that Satheesha had been appointed vice-president of the state body a couple of days back.”I can confirm to you that Satheesha Rai has been elected as the vice-president of the Karnataka State Weightlifting Association. This happened two days ago,” he said.When queried as to how a lifter who has been handed a life ban by the same federation can contest an election, Baishya said: “We (the IWF) will not interfere in the election process of an affiliated body. We have never done that.”The IWF president went on to defend the federation’s decision to endorse Satheesha’s election. “Look, there is no denying the fact that Satheesha was banned for life in 2008. But then I see no problem in electing someone as an official who has such a profound knowledge of the game.” He further said that no one could question Satheesha’s credentials. “He won two gold medals at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. So we will have the services of one of the best lifters the country has had,” said Baishya.That sort of argument simply does not cut much ice. How can the IWF even think of appointing a lifter, who has been banned for life, as one of its officials? And that too at a senior post like the vice- president of one of its biggest state units.advertisementMeanwhile, the coaching camps for the men’s and women’s teams have got underway in Patiala. All the leading weightlifters in the country are going through the paces at this preparatory camp. Chief coach Harnam Singh was all praise for the lifters. “They have shown the dedication and hard work which is required to excel at this level,” he said.On his part, Baishya felt that the Indian lifters needed more of such intensive camps in order to improve their performance at the international level. “Training at camps are crucial to perform well at the international level,” he said.last_img

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