Indian weightlifters set to return to competition after doping fine

Indian weightlifters are set to return to the international fold after the money needed to pay a fine to the International Weightlifting Federation was arranged on Thursday.

Officials feared India would miss out on a host of Commonwealth Games medals if a fine of $500,000 US was not paid by the deadline of Aug. 31.

But the national body is now ready to pay the remaining $375,000 it owes after receiving a cheque from the organizing committee of the Commonwealth Games on a direction from the sports ministry.

The Indian Weightlifting Federation confirmed it had received the cheque.

"We are thankful for the support that we have got," federation president Birendra Prasad Baishya said. "I am sure this move will go a long way in helping India to boost its medal tally."

India is expecting to win more than a dozen medals in weightlifting competitions at the Commonwealth Games, which begin on Oct. 3.

Its weightlifters have always done well at the Games, with a best ever tally of 11 gold, 12 silver and seven bronze medals in Manchester in 2002.

The sports ministry had been regularly in touch with top sports officials over the past few weeks and finally directed the organizing committee of the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday to give a loan for the required amount.

India has been twice banned in the past — in 2004 and 2006 — due to drug-related offences.