It is learnt that Sodhi's name was not there when the majority of members decided to vote for the Khel Ratna awardee but brought back later for consideration. (Agencies)
A selection panel member said that Commonwealth Games gold-medallist discus thrower Krishna Poonia and London Paralympics silver medallist H N Girisha were shortlisted for voting by 11 out of 12 selection panel members and Sodhi's name was not considered initially.
He said the scenario changed after one member, a former shooter, came in late for the meeting and Girisha's name was removed and there was voting between Sodhi and Poonia.
"Out of the 12 members of selection panel, excluding two SAI officials, 10 were present when the meeting started. Two members came late for the meeting, the selection panel member said on condition of anonymity,” he said
"10 of us decided that there would be voting between Poonia and Girisha for Khel Ratna. After that we started discussions on Arjuna Awards. But after one member came in , Sodhi was brought back in the fray," he added.
It is learnt that Poonia was initially tipped for the recommendation as she had more support among the members till Sodhi's name was brought back.
In the voting -- by raise of hands by members – between her and Sondhi, there was a tie and the support he got from SAI officials led to his recommendation, according to the selection panel members.
Another member said that the two SAI representatives, were earlier rooting for Girisha but later supported Sodhi. The SAI officials, however, have no voting rights.
It is learnt that Sodhi's name was not there when the majority of members decided to vote for the Khel Ratna awardee but brought back later for consideration.