Triple jumper Renjith Maheswary will have to wait a bit longer to know whether he will get the Arjuna Award or not as Athletics Federation of India is yet to submit a report to the Sports Ministry on the controversy over his alleged doping violation in 2008.
Hours before he was to be presented the prestigious Arjuna Award on August 31, Maheswary was told under dramatic circumstances that he will have to wait for the coveted honour till the completion of an inquiry on whether he had failed a dope test five years back.
He was, however, assured that he would get the prestigious award if he comes clean after an inquiry by Sports Secretary P K Deb. National record holder Maheswary has all along maintained that he has done nothing wrong and he deserved the Award.
Sports Ministry had asked the AFI to furnish information by Monday on whether Maheswary had flunked a dope test in 2008 but Deb said that his Ministry is yet to get it from the federation.
“We are waiting for a report from the AFI, we have not got it. There is no record with SAI about Maheswary having failed a dope test and so we have asked the AFI to tell us regarding this issue,” he said.
Reports have quoted Deb as saying that Meheswary could have taken the banned drug (Ephedrine stimulant) “accidentally” under prescription by a doctor.
But Deb said that Maheswary’s fate will depend on whether he was punished by the AFI for a dope offence.
“It will all depend on whether the AFI had punished Maheswary for a doping offence,” Deb said. Maheswary returning positive for a banned drug in 2008 was though not a secret as there were media reports about this after he won gold in the 48th National Open Athletics Championships in Kochi in September 2008.