''Forget life ban, give me public execution if I am dope cheat''

New Delhi, Aug 6 (UNI) After allegedly failing the dope test just hours before the team was to depart for Beijing, Indian weightlifter Monica Devi has pleaded innocence.

''Forget life ban, give me public execution if I am dope cheat,'' Monica Devi told mediapersons today.

Monica won her ticket to Beijing Olympics after much controversy which saw a bizarre selection row with allegations of bribery derailing the preparations before she could book her place.

''I am innocent and I am being targeted. This according to me is politics played by Shailaja, along with the Association. I won't make such a mistake at all because I don't want to end my career like this,'' Monica said.

Monica claimed that she was tested for more than 30 times and never did anything like this occurred before.

''I went to collect my tickets on August 4, but then I was told to come the next day, which I did. And hours before my flight was scheduled I again went to collect my tickets and that's when I was told that one of my sample results shows positive. The entire thing in itself is fishy and I am sure that it is nothing but a conspiracy.'' The IWF general secretary BR Gulati, who was sitting next to Monica during the media breifing said, ''We did not have any sort of intimation on the withdrawal. Once a member's name is given to the Olympic Association, he or she cannot be substituted. Only she will go and nobody else can go.'' After Monica was found positive of dope, IWF selection committee chairman B Venkataramiah said, ''Shailaja had a chance if the Indian Weightlifting Federation and the IOA could propose her name as the replacement for the Olympic Games.'' For the last few years, Indian weightlifting has seen a shocking decline, dogged by doping scandals and suspension from international competition after constantly failing drug tests.


Story first published: Wednesday, August 6, 2008, 16:06 [IST]
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