I am innocent, says Monika

In a blow to the Indian contingent at the Beijing Olympics, weightlifter Monika Devi has tested positive for steroids and has been withdrawn from the Games.

Monika, who was the lone Indian lifter in the 56-strong contingent, tested positive before her departure to Beijing.

Monika’s selection for the Olympics had been a controversial one amidst allegations of bribery in the selection process. She had beaten Shailaja Pujari to the spot in the 69 kg category.

Perhaps, the silver lining in the latest doping scandal to hit India is that the athlete was not disgraced in front of the world, and was withdrawn before the Games.

Interestingly, Shailaja’s performance in the trials had been better than Monika’s.

Shailaja (75kg) lifted a total of 236kg (106kg snatch+ 130 clean and jerk) at the repeat selection trials which should have placed her seventh in the latest rankings while Monika’s (69kg) lift of 224kg (101+123) ranks 15th.

“I lifted 236kg, 12 kg more than Monika, and my total is seventh in latest world rankings and naturally I have more chance to perform better than her in the Olympics. I am not being able to digest why I was not selected,” Shailaja had said last month.

Shailaja had been earlier banned for two years after she failed a dope test ahead of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006.

Source: http://www.ndtv.com/olympics/storypage.aspx?storyid=SPOEN20080060279

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I am innocent, says Monika

India’s Olympic campaign was rocked even before the games started after weightlifter L Monika Devi was stopped from going for the Beijing Olympics after testing positive for a banned steroid.

Monika’s selection for the Olympics had been a controversial one amidst allegations of bribery in the selection process. She had beaten Shailaja Pujari to the spot in the 69 kg category.

Meanwhile, Monika Devi told NDTV that, “I request the Federation to send me to Beijing, I have to appear for a dope test tomorrow. I will take the risk in case anything goes wrong. And if it does, everyone can shoot me.”

“No sportsperson will ever make such a mistake. It hurts me a lot to be accused. I’ve never been involved in doping.”

Perhaps, the silver lining in the latest doping scandal to hit India is that the athlete was not disgraced in front of the world, and was withdrawn before the Games.

Interestingly, Shailaja’s performance in the trials had been better than Monika’s.

Monika Devi was chosen as India’s sole weightlifter for the Olympics, following this session in July. But by then she had already tested positive for an Anabolic steroid. The Sports Authority forwarded her case to the Sports Ministry, which asked the Indian Olympic Association to withdraw her. Monika was held back for two additional days in a bid to flush her clean, but the IOA wasn’t taking any chances.

“I haven’t got any details as yet. I’ve been unofficially told. So if it’s true then she won’t go.” Suresh Kalmadi said.

Source: http://www.ndtv.com/olympics/storypage.aspx?storyid=SPOEN20080060330

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Monika questions SAI’s dope test norms

In a dramatic face-off, agitated weightlifter Monika Devi on Wednesday stormed into the Sports Authority of India (SAI) headquarters in New Delhi and confronted its Executive Director (Teams) R K Naidu, demanding that she should be allowed to see the report of her dope test, which she had failed.

A tearful Monika, accompanied by Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) officials and mediapersons, challenged SAI’s dope testing standards while also taking Naidu on, even as the SAI director defended himself and said he could submit the report only to the IWF and not the player concerned.

“I must be given the reports of my dope test which says I failed the test. You declared me positive and you must prove it now,” Monika fumed.

But a composed-looking Naidu said he was not supposed to give the report to the player.

“I cannot give it to any player I can give it to the Federation and then they decide how and when to convey it to the player,” he said.

Extremely upset and angry after losing her maiden chance to represent the country in the Olympic Games, the Manipuri weightlifter launched a severe verbal attack on Naidu, saying that “he had killed the sport in the country”.

“You don’t want to make India (proud), you want to bring it down.”

Naidu tried to defend himself by saying that he had only told Monika to wait for a day as there were some procedures to be followed.

“I had simply said that you cannot leave on August 6 you have to wait for one more day because there were procedures to be followed. I was also giving you a hotel room,” he said.

Monika also accused him for promoting P Shailaja and said she had flunked dope test five times in her career but was not banned yet.

“I want to make it clear that against the general perception I am not from Andhra Pradesh and I have no reason to promote Shailaja. I am just doing my job.

“We (SAI) only said that Monika has won two medals in (Olympic Qualifying) Asian Championship so, she should go to Beijing… it is on record and you can check it,” he said.

Monika, who was India’s lone representation in weightlifting, was selected ahead of Shailaja in the IWF trial last month despite the latter emerging to be a better performer.

But the Manipuri girl was pulled out of the Indian squad for Olympic Games last night for testing positive for an anabolic salt in a dope test conducted by the Sports Authority of India on June 29.

Source: http://www.ndtv.com/olympics/storypage.aspx?storyid=SPOEN20080060369

Image Sources: IBNLive.com,
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About Zou Sangnaupang Pawlpi Delhi

Zou Students' Association Delhi Branch
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