The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) on Thursday rubbished "reports in international media" that 25 lifters had tested positive during the Senior National Weightlifting Championships in Udaipur, saying actually five flunked dope tests there.
"It's not true that 25 lifters returned positive in the Senior Nationals in February. Only five were found positive. Out of the five, the dope offence of four has been confirmed with their 'B' sample also turning out to be positive. The result of 'B' sample of one lifter is yet to come," IWF Secretary Sahdev Yadav said.
"We are trying to root out the doping menace and such wrong news would make our job difficult," he said.
The tainted lifters are Gurpreet Singh (men's +105kg), Paramjit Kaur (women's 69kg), Manjinder Singh (men's 62kg), Bhagat Singh (men's 94kg) and Pradeep Sharma (men's 77kg).
Incidentally, the suggestion to issue a denial came from International Weightlifting Federation chief Tamas Ajan in his letter to the IWF president Birendra Prasad Baishya.
Ajan had asked for a feedback on the international media reports and a denial if they were not correct.
"I would like to ask for your immediate feedback and information on the international media widely publicising that 25 positive aces have been found at the National Championships," Ajan said in his letter to Baishya.
"Should the news be false, please publish a strong denial in the media, because this process may lead to complete discredit of the Indian Weightlifting Federation," he said.
Yadav said the IWF has decided to ban the coaches of the five lifters who were caught for doping in the Senior National Championships in Udaipur.
"We have decided to ban the coaches of the five lifters for two years. We want to send out a strong message that doping will not be tolerated," he said.