HI announced the names of players and coaches recommended for the National Sports Awards 2014 which includes the prestigious Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Life Time Achievement Award and Dronacharya Award.
For the Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award, HI has recommended former women's team captain Sumrai Tete, who is employed as a coach of the senior Indian women's side, while current coach of the junior Indian women's hockey team Romesh Pathania's name has been proposed for the Dronacharya Award.
Triple jumper Renjith Maheswary, who has been stopped from receiving Arjuna Award under controversial circumstances on charges of dope violation last year, has again been recommended by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for the coveted honour this year.
A top AFI official said that Maheswary's name has again been nominated for this year's Arjuna Award on the ground that the Sports Ministry's eligibility rule does not bar him from getting the coveted honour.
"Sports Ministry's eligibility clause says that any athlete who failed a dope test conducted by a WADA or IOC accredited laboratory will be barred from getting the award. But Maheswary's case relates to a test conducted in 2008 while the NDTL got WADA accreditation in 2009 only," the official said.
"So, we have recommended Maheswary's name again for this year's Arjuna Award. Let us see what the new government does this time," he said.
Interestingly, this same eligibility rule (4.2) of the Sports Ministry for conferring Arjuna Awards was considered when the controversy over Maheswary being barred from receiving the coveted award cropped up in September last year.
The eligibility rule (4.2) for Arjuna Awards as amended on March 15, 2010 states that "sportspersons found positive for use of drugs banned by the International Olympic Committee in any laboratory accredited by the IOC will not be eligible for Arjuna Award".
Maheswary also has the performance to show as he won a silver in the Pune Asian Championships in July last, besides winning a silver and a bronze in the Asian Grand Prix last year.
After a detailed investigation, the Ministry had come to a conclusion in September last that Maheswary was found to have used ephedrine during the 46th National Athletic Championships in Kochi in 2008 and hence he would not be conferred with the award.