2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Gold medallist, weightlifter Punam Yadav, after getting excluded from the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme, is now expelled from the Indian weightlifting squad for Asian Games. With this, her dream of representing India at the forthcoming Jakarta Games has also been dashed.
Punam Yadav expelled on Disciplinary grounds
Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) made it clear that she won’t be considered for the Asiad selection. Moreover, the 69kg category weightlifter will not be allowed to join the national camp at the NIS Patiala, paying a heavy price for ‘indiscipline’ – she skipped the camp made compulsory by the IWLF.
According to IWLF secretary general Sahdev Yadav, she will not be recommended ever for the TOP scheme funding by the federation, which could possibly bring an abrupt end to her promising career.
The only window for Punam to get back into the federation’s scheme of things is if she gets herself tested by the National Anti-Doping Agency (Nada) at her own expense and submits a clean report to the federation. But that would be accepted only after the Asian Games. However, even her dope-free report from the Nada will not guarantee her leniency from the federation, which could keep her suspended for a prolonged period.
“She won’t be allowed to appear for trials, which effectively puts an end to her Asian Games prospects. And that’s the final word from the federation,” Sahdev Yadav told TOI.
“Let me make it clear, she won’t join the national camp ever and won’t be considered for the TOP funding in future. The federation has told this to the Sports Authority of India (SAI). It’s a serious breach of discipline on her part. Only those who are part of the camp will be considered for Asiad selection and other competitions in future. We have learnt that she is enjoying her time in her hometown Varanasi,” Yadav added.
Is Punam Yadav deliberately avoiding the Dope test
A conspiracy theory doing the rounds is that Punam is avoiding a dope test. She would have been tested had she joined the camp after returning from Gold Coast. TOI tried to reach out to Punam, but she remained incommunicado despite repeated calls and messages.
SAI had dropped 12 athletes from the TOP scheme, which included three weightlifters who had won gold at the CWG – Sathish Sivalingam, Ragala V Rahul and Punam.