Monika Devi in doping net, out of Beijing team
Source: The Sangai Express / (Agencies)

New Delhi, August 06: With Monika Devi caught in the doping net hours before boarding the Beijing flight, IWF Selection Committee Chairman B Venkataramiah feels P Shailaja has a chance if the Indian Weightlifting Federation and the IOA could propose her name as the replacement for the Olympic Games.

"Shailaja has a chance but I think the IWF is in very embarrassing position at the moment," Venkataramaih to PTI. "I have spoken to IWF General Secretary (BR Gulati) to propose her name to the International Weightlifting Federation.

At least now they should do justice to Shailaja," he said.

India's lone representation in weightlifting, Monika was selected ahead of Shailaja in the IWF trial last month despite the latter emerging to be a better performer.

But the Manipuri girl was pulled out of the Indian squad for Olympic Games last night for testing positive for an anabolic salt in a dope test conducted by the Sports Authority of India on June 29 .

Venkataramaih, also the General Secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Association, said there was a provision for replacement in case of accident or injury to the selected candidate but "I don't know what would be their decision in this case".

"The last date of submitting names to the International Federation was July 29 which has been surpassed and it is up to the Indian Olympic Association to see if Shailaja's name could be sent now," he said.

Asked if Monika was clear during the trials in Bangalore, he said "I am not sure but it have learnt that she tested positive after she reached Delhi from the trials," he said.

Stopped from boarding the flight to Beijing after testing positive for a banned substance Monika Devi on Wednesday said she was innocent.

Monika told reporters she had been selected for the Olympics because of her clean record.

"I'm innocent.

I've always stayed away from illegal substances, and that's why I was picked in the selection trials," said Devi, who was not permitted to board the flight to the Chinese capital Tuesday night.

"Shoot me if I'm guilty.

Everyone knows there are stringent tests in international competitions and no sensible athlete would resort to doping." Monika Devi said she had been framed by officials who wanted another woman weightlifter to compete in the Olympics. The Press Trust of India reported Tuesday that Devi tested positive for an anabolic substance in a test conducted by the Sports Authority of India on June 29 .

Indian Olympic contingent's leader Baljit Singh Sethi confirmed Wednesday that Devi's entry had been withdrawn.

"I can confirm that Monika will not be taking part in the games," PTI quoted Sethi as saying from Beijing.

"We are actually relieved it happened before she reached Beijing," Sethi said.

Monika's failed doping test is the fourth by an Indian weightlifter since May.

Junior male weightlifter Harpreet Singh tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone last month, while Kavita Devi and Paritosh Upadhyay failed doping tests in May.

Kavita Devi was sent back from the Asian women's championship in Japan after the Weightlifting Federation of India was informed of her positive doping test result by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which had collected an out-of-competition sample.

Upadhyay tested positive in an out-of-competition test conducted by the Sports Authority of India, which also caught Singh during his training program.

Repeated doping violations by Indian weightlifters have led India to be banned twice from international competitions since the 2004 Olympics in Athens.