By Duncan Mackay

Manju_Wanniarachchi_in_front_of_Sri_Lanka_flagMay 23 - Disgraced Sri Lankan boxer Manju Wanniarachchi has announced his retirement and given up his plans to appeal after being threatened with a life ban by the country's Sports Minister following the decision to strip him of the gold medal he won at last year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Wanniarachchi, a 30-year-old lingerie-factory worker, lost his appeal before a special Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Court in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month following a positive test for anabolic steroids after beating Welshman Sean McGoldrick in the bantamweight division in the Indian capital.

But his legal team claimed he had not received a fair hearing and threatened to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, much to the fury of Sri Lankan Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage who fears the protracted row threatens to undermine Hambantota's bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"I have already suspended him for two years and I have suspended the [Sri Lankan] Boxing Federation and put in an interim committee because they are the one's who have helped him," Aluthgamage told insidethegames.

"I got a report from the police who said that the [boxing] federation are the one's who have taken this athlete to doctor to inject this thing [steroids] - so they are responsible, which is why I have suspended them. 

"We are going to take legal action against the doctors who gave him the medicines.

"We are fully 100 per cent behind the Commonwealth Games decision [to strip him of the medal ] and we have looked into banning him for life."

Wanniarachchi officially had until next Sunday (May 29) to file an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against his disqualification has now dropped that plan, meaning that the gold medal can be officially re-allocated to McGoldrick.

"When I was informed of the A sample being positive my legal representatives strongly objected to the opening of the B samples on the basis that the chain of custody of the samples were missing which was a vital factor." said Wanniarachchi.

"This is the very reason which compelled me to challenge the samples at a hearing concluded in Malaysia recently but even that proved futile as the hearing panel decided otherwise.

"My next step as advised by my legal counsel was to appeal against the decision to...Switzerland, but in the interest of boxing and the love of the sport I have decided not to proceed with the appeal.

"My legal representatives had high confidence of coming out successfully in the appeal to be forwarded and getting back the medal.

"The ultimate decision I took was to announce my retirement from a sport which I loved and have been involved for more than 15 years.

"It was also the sport that brought me success in making me a man."

But there is no doubt that pressure brought on Wanniarachchi by the Government has forced him to give up his fight.

"As a country we are very firm and particular about anti-doping," said Aluthgamage.

"We have signed the WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) agreement and the UNESCO agreement.

"We are a democratic country and we cannot stop [him] going to court.

"But as far as we are concerned we will take the maximum action against this athlete."

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May 2011: Exclusive - Disgraced Sri Lankan vows to fight on to keep gold medal after he is disqualified for drugs
April 2011: McGoldrick to discover gold medal fate on May 8
April 2011: McGoldrick admits wait for Delhi 2010 gold medal has become "very frustrating"
March 2011: Sri Lankan boxer banned after failed Delhi drugs test
January 2011: Hearing into Sri Lankan boxer postponed until May