October 14 - India's weightlifters face the threat of being banned from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi after three of its competitors tested positive in the space of 24 hours.


Priyadarshini has joined Shailaja Pujari (pictured) and Vicky Bhatta in failing tests that could see the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) evoke its "three strikes and out rule".


The world governing body's anti-doping rule says that "a national federation could be banned from IWF activities for a period of up to two years if three or more violations are committed by athletes within a 12-month period in testing conducted by the IWF or anti-doping organisations other than the national federation or its national anti-doping organisation".


BR Gulati, the secretary of the Indian Weightlifting Federation, admitted that they were concerned about possible sanctions as weightlifting is one of the country's most successful sports and is expected to be a popular attraction during the Commonwealth Games.


He said: "It depends on what action the NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) takes.


"So far we have not received any communication.


"[But] there are three positive tests and a ban seems unavoidable."


Priyadarshini was caught during a regular screening test by NADA before a training camp in Pune.


Pujari, who won three gold medals in the women's 75-kilogram (165-pound) category at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, was caught by the NADA in August.


Batta, a silver-medallist in the men's 56-kilogram (123-pound) event at the 2006 Games in Melbourne, tested positive in a test conducted by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) last month.


Both lifters have already served dope-related suspensions after Pujari failed an out-of competition test in 2006 and Batta tested positive at the National Games in 2007.


They now face the prospect of life-time bans.


The Indian federation will be fined at least $5,000 (£3,121) by the IWF for each of the three failed tests.


Gulati said: "The fine imposed by the international federation could be more also.


"It is the [Indian] federation which will suffer.


"But we have taken strict action against dope offenders in the past and will continue to do that."


Indian weightlifters have a history of doping.


The Indian federation has been banned twice previously, the last time being in 2006 when Shailja, B Pramilavalli, Edwin Raju and Tejinder Singh tested positive.


It meant Indian lifters missed the Asian Games in Doha in 2006 due to a 12-month ban imposed on the national federation after four athletes tested positive within a year.


The ban was lifted after six months with the Indian federation paying a fine of $50,000 (£31,210).


India's lone lifter at the Beijing Olympics last year, Monika Devi, was withdrawn over an alleged doping offence.


Devi denied the charge and is fighting the allegation in court.