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May 13, 2008 at 01:55pm IST

Weightlifter Kavita fails drug test, banned

Mumbai: Weightlifter Kavita Devi has been banned for two years after failing a drugs test, India's weightlifting chief said on Monday.

Kavita, who competes in the women's 75kg, was hauled back from last month's Asian championships in Japan after the Indian weightlifting federation learned she had tested positive for a steroid during a World Anti-Doping Agency test.

"She was not inclined to take the 'B' sample test," the federation's president, Harbhajan Singh, told Reuters. "She has been (told) in writing by the International Weightlifting Federation that she will not be able to participate in any international or national competition for two years."

DOPE ON CONTROVERSY: Kavita Devi has been told in writing of her ban by International Weightlifting Federation.

Indian lifters were thrust into the spotlight when positive tests in high-profile competitions led to a suspension in 2006.

India's Egyptian coach Magad Salama quit in February after a lengthy row with federation chiefs during which he claimed several of the country's senior lifters were taking performance-enhancing drugs.