Doping-Sri Lanka lifter banned after positive drug test - media

Reuters

Tue, 24 May 04:15:00 2011

Commonwealth Games weightlifting gold medallist Chinthana Vidanage has been provisionally suspended following a positive drug test at the Asian championships, local media reported.

Vidanage, who won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and silver in the 69 kg category at the Delhi Games last year, returned a positive drug test for methylhexaneamine at the Asian tournament in China's Anhui province last month.

Methylhexaneamine, which is commonly used as a nasal decongestant, was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list last year as a stimulant and has led to bans for a raft of athletes across various sports.

Vidanage, who carried Sri Lanka's flag at the Delhi Games and enjoys hero-status at home, had been banned provisionally by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), reports said, citing the Sri Lanka sports ministry.

Neither the IWF nor the Asian Weightlifting Federation were available for comment. Sri Lanka's weightlifting federation was also unavailable for comment.

"I was shocked to learn about it as I have never been tested positive for a banned substance after being scrupulously tested everywhere I went from the Commonwealth Games ... to Delhi and at every Asian and South Asian championships," the weightlifter was quoted as saying by Sri Lanka news website The Island (www.island.lk).

The medical unit of Sri Lanka's sports ministry was continuing investigations, reports said.

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