New Delhi: Double Asian Games bronze medallist lifter Kunjarani Devi has slammed Karnam Malleswari for her recent attack on the Indian Weightlifting Federation office bearers, saying the former's statement that IWF was being run by people who do not know the sport was "baseless".

Upset with the way the IWF was working, Sydney Olympics bronze-medallist Malleswari has reportedly resigned as vice-president of IWF recently.

"I strongly condemn the statement given by Karnam Malleswari against B P Baishya, president of Indian Weightlifting Federation and secretary general Sahdev Yadav," Kunjarani said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I firmly believe that we the sportsperson have a larger responsibility on our shoulders not only to promote the game and make it popular with the new generation but also to chalk out the dirty politics from the game and put aside our ego and petty temptations.

"Why she is sponsoring such malicious politics – I really don't know. But the statement is absolutely baseless regarding knowledge of weightlifting by the elite leaders of Indian Weightlifting Federation. They are well aware of each and every aspect of weightlifting," she added.

In her criticism, Malleswari, country's first woman to win an Olympic medal, also complained of politics in IWF and felt that the performance of the lifters had gone down considerably under the current regime.

But Kunjarani said even though she has high regards for her one-time compatriot, she begs to begs to differ with Malleswari's observation.

"I, myself has observed the sport of weightlifting very closely as an athlete, administrator and coach for past 25 years. I am also a fan of Karnam Malleswari and participated with her for more than 15 years on the same platform and have full regard for her contribution to weightlifting," said the 1990 Beijing and 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games bronze medallist.

"The new regime has taken over from the shabby condition when a few arrogant, defiant, irresponsible and selfish lifters landed the Indian Weightlifting Federation in a predicament where the very existence as an autonomous National Federation was on the block," Kunjarani said.

"B P Baishya came as saviour to restore the sport of weightlifting and took over the charge of president in 2009. The message of Indian Weightlifting Federation under his regime was very clear and loud – to eradicate the doping menace from this iron sport," she said.

"And that was well achieved by the Federation in the past 2 years as is evident from the golden charter of raining medals at International Competition held in the year 2010 and 2011."

Kunjarani said under Baishya and Yadav's leadreship, Indian weightlifting has progressed by leaps and bounds.

"The grass root level athletes had been nurtured by the president and secretary general and were put on a platform where they can compete with world heavyweights," she said.

"Due International exposure were given to the new brigade of athletes in coaching camps and International Competitions abroad which was a remarkable feature which was never happened in the history of weightlifting."

She also said that the current regime was responsible for making the sport dope free in India.

"Random dope tests were conducted by the Federation from time to time in the National coaching camps to root out the doping menace.

"The entire World was in doubt how and when India can pull themselves out of this doping dungeon which was haunting them for six long years.

"Regular seminars and educational programs were also imparted during National camps and National Championships by the Federation appointed officials and coaches to caution and educate weightlifters against the doping menace," claimed the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna lifter.