New Delhi: After doping incidents in sports hitting the crescendo, the Sports Ministry seems to have finally awakened to the gravity of the situation. In a bid to save itself from any further embarrassment, the Ministry has decided to obtain verification certificates of sportspersons before conferring any awards on them.

According to instructions issued by the Sports Ministry, National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) and local police have been asked to collect verification and No Objection Certificate (NOC) of the sportspersons who will be conferred Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjun Award, Dhyanchand Award and Dronacharya Award. NADA will be required to furnish the required certificates to the Ministry prior to August 29, the day of award distribution by the President.

Notably, August 29 is also observed as National Sports Day in India. It is the birth anniversary of legendary hockey player, Major Dhyan Chand Singh.

In 2010, the announcement of giving Dronacharya award to Jagdish Singh, coach of boxer Vijender Singh and Akhil Kumar, had stirred controversy despite the government having verified all required documents.

Learning a lesson from the incident, the Sports Ministry laid down new policies for the chosen sportspersons to be conferred with 2010 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjun Award, Dronacharya Award and Dhyanchand Award.

To ensure that only those sportspersons with clean background are awarded, the Ministry has sent a letter to NADA and the local police stations to issue No Objection Certificates (N.O.C) to sportspersons who are to receive the awards.

The Ministry has declared that it would make formal announcement of the recipients of the awards only after obtaining these certificates.

(JPN/Bureau)