After days of uncertainty and suspense,triple-jumper Renjith Maheswary looks set to get his Arjuna Award. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has given a clean chit to the Olympian in its report to the sports ministry,which was submitted late Monday evening.
A final decision will be taken by the ministry after AFI’s report is studied on Tuesday. It is believed the AFI’s report is based on the documents provided by their doctor Arun Mendiratta.
In its report to the sports ministry,the AFI has said they do not have any records of Maheshwary testing positive for a banned substance and has never been punished for a doping offence according to their records,essentially clearing the athlete to receive the Arjuna award.
In a dramatic twist just hours before the awards ceremony on August 31,Maheswary was told that he would have to wait for the honour till the completion of an inquiry on whether he had failed a dope test five years back.
“We have received the report from AFI on Monday evening. According to them,Maheswary has never been punished for a doping offence in the past and they have not been able to find any report linking him to a doping violation,” sports secretary PK Deb said.
Deb,who was inquiring into the matter said neither the Sports Authority of India nor the National Anti-Doping Agency have records of Maheswary flunking a dope test in the past or being punished for the same.
The sports ministry have also got it confirmed from Maheswary’s doctor,who prescribed him a banned stimulant ephedrine before the national open championships in 2008. “There is no record with SAI about Maheswary having failed a dope test so we asked the AFI for those details. But it seems that he took the drugs inadvertently and he had a doctors’ prescription for the same. So there were no charges against him as such according to the information we have. But we will go through the AFI’s report on Tuesday before taking a final call,” Deb said.