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Drug saga and divisions robes Ghana World Weightlifting participation

By Accra Mail

Ghana has once again failed to make an appearance at the World Weightlifting Champion (WWC) currently going on in Thailand due to the drug saga against leading lifter Majetie Fetrie and divisions at the front of the local federation.

Information gathered by the GNA Sports reveals that the Ghana Weightlifting Association (GWA) could not secure funding and endorsement from the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports due to the two issues which have been hanging on the neck of the Association for the past months.

According to the information, the ministry intends conducting further investigations into the circumstances that led to the two-year ban imposed on Fetrie by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for taking banned substances during the Africa Championship held in Morocco, in 2006.

Fetrie, it would be recalled was disqualified from participating in the recent All Africa Games held in Algiers, Algeria, thus denying Ghana of a medal in the sport.

Significantly, there seems to be division at the front of the Association following the presentation of two sets of names to the IWF for participation in the ongoing championship.

GNA Sports gathers that the 2003 All Africa Games medallist, Michael Abotsi sent a list of lifters to the IWF as Ghana's representatives for the championship before the GWA sent its list of lifters for the event.

The confusion over the lists, according to the information compelled the IWF to seek further clarification from the local federation before subsequently cancelling Abotsi's list.

An e-mail sent to the GWA and chanced upon by the GNA Sports confirmed that two separate lists were indeed sent by Abotsi and the GWA respectively.

Further enquiries conducted by the GNA Sports at the National Sports Council (NSC) confirmed the division as well as the Ministry's intention to investigate the two issues on board.

Mr Cliff Johnson Aboagye, Chairman of the GWA confirmed the failure of the team to participate in the championship but added that Fetrie is an individual in the team and could therefore not be the reason why the Ministry failed to endorse their participation.

The Chairman also confirmed Abotsi's action but wondered why he should do that.

Counting the losses that will follow Ghana's absence at the championship, Mr Aboagye said it would further widen the gap between Ghana and the IWF.

He regretted that the current impasse would make it impossible for the GWA to seek for further assistance from the IWF to develop and promote the sport in the country.

Mr Aboagye lamented that the modest gains made over the years by the Association might be eroded by such unfortunate events, but added that efforts will be made to help promote the sports in the country.

Ghana has for the past years made some strides in weightlifting.

Members of the Association recorded Ghana's maiden medals in the sport at the All Africa Games and continued with similar feats at the African Championship and crowned it with a gold medal at the last Commonwealth Games.

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