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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    August 19, 2004
     

    After history, it was a day of shame yesterday. Two Indian weightlifters, Sanamacha Chanu and Pratima Kumari, tested positive for drugs in out-of-competition tests. Pratima Kumari was mysteriously disappearing day before yesterday when she should have been taking part in the competition. The Indian contingent either denied knowing her whereabouts or said that she was not well. As usual, the problem cannot be completely blamed on the two sportspersons. The Indian Olympic Association will no doubt make it appear as though it is sincere about combating drugs in sport, especially weightlifting. There've been several instances of Indian weightlifters, mostly women, who've been banned for testing positive during drug tests.

    The IOA did manage to have its way in the Sunita Rani doping issue with a total sham of an investigation relying more on technical problems with the report by the testing lab rather than trying to find out the real truth. Undoubtedly questions will continue to be asked about achievements of Indian weightlifters in the last few years, and rightly so. Our record when it comes to drug abuse, especially amongst weightlifters, is hardly worth being proud of.

    The hockey team flitted between abysmal and class yesterday against Australia. In fact for a major part of the match, the two teams were more or less equal ... until with 25 seconds to go, Australia scored the match-winner. A hallmark of Indian hockey teams in the past few years has been their ability to gift the last gasp goal to the opposition in the dying moments of the game. It affected them at Sydney when Poland scored the equalizer with 90 seconds to go to end India's chances of making the semi-finals. A dispirited Indian outfit ended up at #7 then. Australia's last minute goal means that India need to win both their remaining matches against New Zealand and Argentina by huge margins and hope that Australia lose both their next two games against South Africa and Holland.

    India's tennis duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi crashed out in the semis. The 5th seeds were thrashed 6-2 6-3 in just over an hour by Germany's unseeded pairing of Nicholas Kiefer and Rainer Shuettler. Paes and Bhupathi now play in the bronze medal playoff. Really, the gold medal was there for the taking with no other specialist/seeded doubles pairing still in the fray. They blew it.

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