December 16 - Baldev Raj Gulati, forced out as the secretary general of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) last month following a series of doping scandals, has put himself forward as a candidate for the reconstituted organisation when elections are held later this month.

Gulati resigned from his post along with all other office bearers after the International Weightlifting Federation allegedly told the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to get a new body in place if it hoped for any kind of reprieve after a string of doping cases which threaten the team's participation at next year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

But Gulati, who has often been blamed for the rampant doping in the sport in India, is hoping to be again among the new set of office-bearers that will take charge after the IOA conducts elections on December 27.

He said: "I am not contesting for the post of secretary-general but for one of the other positions.

"Once the final dope test results are out and the penalty is paid [by the IWF or the IOA], the lifters will get a go-ahead for the Commonwealth Games, for which they are currently attending a camp at the Army Sports Institute in Pune."

India, which has been banned twice in the past, is once again faced with the possibility of stringent punishment from the international body for the most recent scandal in which six lifters failed out-of-competition tests conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)  in September in Pune.

Gulati said: "The penalty has not been announced officially.

"However, if found guilty we stand to lose $500,000 (£306,000) [in fines].

The International Weightlifting Federation, at its Executive Committee meeting in South Korea last month, decided to put off the punishment for the Indian federation till the individual cases had been dealt with.

Under international rules, a national body may be handed a ban of up to four years with fines, if three or more lifters test positive for banned substances during a calendar year.

If a ban of more than a year is imposed, India will have to face the ignominy of being barred from fielding its lifters in the Commonwealth Games, which are due to open on October 3, 2010.

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