November 17 - The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) are to hold elections for the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) after its leadership stood down claiming "moral responsibility" for the doping scandals that are threatening to prevent them being able to compete in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi next year.


The IWF Executive Committee sent a resignation letter to the IOA following scathing criticism from Indian Sports Minister M.S. Gill yesterday in which he said that they owed the country an apology after six lifters tested positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs.


Suresh Kalmadi, the President of the IOA, said: "The Indian Weightlifting Federation has decided to take moral responsibility of the doping violation committed by the weightlifters and decided to step down.


"The federation has requested the IOA to take appropriate action and fresh elections will be held soon."


The International Weightlifting Federation will decide whether to ban a worldwide ban on India at its Executive Board meeting in Goyang, South Korea, tomorrow.


Countries face up to a four-year ban if three or more lifters return positive for banned substances in a calendar year.
Even if India is only banned from international competition for a year, it would rule them out of weightlifting events at the Commonwealth Games, which open in New Delhi on October 3, 2010.


India also missed the 2006 Asian Games in Doha because four of its lifters had tested positive in a 12-month period.



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