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New Award rules put Renjith out

DC | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jan 11, 2014, 2:46 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 5:48 am IST
Renjith Maheswary
 Renjith Maheswary

Kochi: Even if triple jumper Renjith Maheswary did something truly splendid and finished on podium in an international event or even better, in an Olympics, he is unlikely to earn the Arjuna Award hereafter.

The Union sports ministry announced its revised standard operation procedure for granting national sports awards, on Friday, and it deems any sportsperson with a history of doping ineligible for the Award.

The Delhi Commonwealth Games bronze medalist was unceremoniously denied the Arjuna at the eleventh hour last August, after being named by the ministry, when a 2008 doping episode resurfaced.

“Sportspersons who have been penalised or against whom enquiry is pending/ ongoing for use of drugs/ substances banned by WADA will not be eligible for the Award,” read the re-phrased line on the eligibility of athletes.

It is clear the Renjith Maheswary incident has prompted the ministry to revise its criteria and the national sports federations are sure to be more careful in clearing names with a history of doping.

The eligible athletes, whose names are cleared by the respective national sports federations, have to be approved by the screening committee before June 15.

“Such revisions are welcome and will make the selection procedures more transparent,” said Jiji Thomson, director general of Sports Authority of India, who was part of the Arjuna committee last year.

Meanwhile, Renjith has started training under SAI coach Nishad Kumar is unaware of how significant his case was in the revision procedure and has vowed to come back strong this year with both the commonwealth and Asian Games in the calendar.

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