It's official now. The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has to pay $ 375000 (Rs 1.77 crore approx) to the international body as fine or risk its team's non participation in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.
The International Weightlifting Federation has issued a communiquÃ© in which its president Tamas Ajan has written to the IWF that they have to cough up this amount by August 31 or else Indian lifters would be disallowed from competing in the mega event on home turf. IWF president BP Baishya confirmed this news.
"Yes, I can confirm that we got this message from the international body this morning. We had asked them twice earlier to extend the deadline.
"The letter has come from the president of the international body Dr Tamas Ajan," he said.
Baishya also said that the IWF had given the Indian body the option to pay up the dues in either one or two installments.
"They (international body) have left that to us - we can either pay it at one go or in two installments. They have no issues with the manner of payment as long as the amount is paid," he said.
When asked as to how the IWF was going to cough up this amount, Baishya said the ball was in the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) court.
"We had been asking them to give us Rs one crore as interest free loan. I am sure they will consider our case with due regard. It will be a national disgrace if our lifters are not allowed to participate in the CWG," he said.
Baishya also said that the Indian weightlifters could win as many as 12 to 13 medals in the CWG. "I am sure that our weightlifters can win up to 12 or 13 medals in the CWG. Our weightlifters have been working very hard and I am sure they will give a very good account of themselves at the CWG," he said.
But when Mail Today asked the IOA, it refused to bail IWF out.
According to an IOA source, if it paid part of the fine, it would mean that they were supporting the dope offenders.
"If the IOA were to pay the fine, it would convey the message that we are aiding and abetting doping in sport. They (IWF) will have to look for other means to pay off the dues to the international body," the source said.
The IOA source did say that the IWF had got in touch with them regarding the payment of the fine. "Yes, I can confirm that they did get in touch with us for the payment of fine sometime back. We heard them out patiently," he said.
It must be mentioned here that the IWF paid the first installment of $ 50,000 in January before the South Asian Games in Bangladesh and the second installment of $ 75,000 before the April 4 deadline which allowed the lifters to take part in the Asian Youth and Junior Championships at Tashkent held from April 7 to 16.