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Govt. withholds Arjuna Award for Renjith Maheshwari pending enquiry into doping charges
New Delhi, August 31, 2013
The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports today said it had decided to withhold the Arjuna Award in respect of triple jump national record holder Renjith Maheshwari till completion of enquiries into doping allegations against him.
The decision followed reports in a section of the media which said Maheshwari had tested positive for the banned stimulant, ephedrine, during the 48th Open National Athletics Meet at Kochi and that the Athletics Federation of India had suspended him for three months.
An official press release said there were also conflicting reports to the effect that he was indeed suspended pending enquiry but was not found guilty of a doping offence in the subsequent enquiry.
According to the release, the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) has no records of the case since it pertains to 2008 and NADA came into being in 2009.
The records lie with the Athletics Federation of India, which has not been able to confirm or deny as yet that he was guilty of a doping offence and was punished.
"Taking cognizance of the reports and keeping in view the provisions of the Arjuna Award Scheme under which sportspersons who have tested positive in dope tests for banned substances cannot be considered for the award, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has decided to withhold the Arjuna Award in respect of Renjith Maheshwari till completion of enquiries in this matter," the release added.
Maheshwari was among the 15 sportspersons selected for the Arjuna Awards this year.
The awards were presented, along with the other National Sports Awards, by President Pranab Mukherjee at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan here this evening.