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Amalaha provisionally suspended from Commonwealth games

29 July 2014, 15:27

Glasgow - A 16-year-old Nigerian weightlifter failed a doping test after becoming the youngest ever female to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the sport, organizers said Tuesday.

Chika Amalaha has been provisionally suspended from the games after testing positive for diuretics and masking agents after winning the 53-kilogram (117-pound) division last Friday.

Amalaha's "A'' sample contained amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide, which are both banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Amalaha asked for the backup "B'' sample to be tested, which will happen in London on Wednesday.

"It shows we have a very robust anti-doping program in place," Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper said. "It sends a strong message to anybody in any sport that if you go down the path of doping, any substance to enhance performance, they will be caught ... it's an ongoing battle."

Amalaha would be stripped of the gold medal if the "B'' sample also comes back positive.

Amalaha set Commonwealth Games records in her weight category with a total of 196 kilograms (432 pounds), breaking the previous mark of 188 kilograms (414 pounds).

Dika Toua of Papua New Guinea won silver and Santoshi Matsa of India earned the bronze.

Amalaha said last week that she took up weightlifting despite opposition at home.

"I started at the age of 12, but my family were strongly against me doing the sport at first," she said. "They kept me telling to stop doing it, but I persuaded them by getting a female coach.

"From then on, it was hard work, training, a lot of pain and dedication that got me here today. And now my family were in the audience and they are so excited and so proud."

- AP


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