The Sports Ministrys decision over whether triple jumper Renjith Maheswary will recieve the Arjuna Award has been postponed to Wednesday. Sports Minister Jitendra Singh had a meeting with his officials after the AFI submitted a report stating that Maheswary had never been punished for a dope offence. We did not take any decision on the issue today. A decision may come tomorrow, Sports Secretary P K Deb said.
The AFI has said in the report submitted to the Sports Ministry that there was a case of dope violation concerning Maheswary but the federation has no record of this nor of any punishment being handed to him.
Meanwhile,Sports Medicine experts said that Maheswary should not be given any leniency in case it was established that there was a case of dope violation even if he was not punished for that.
Former SAI doctor P S M Chandran said that Maheswary cannot claim that he had taken banned drugs inadvertently as that cannot be an excuse under the WADA Code. Under WADA Code there is no such excuse that an athlete had consumed banned drugs inadvertently, he said. The Arjuna Award rules does not talk about whether an athlete has been handed punishment for a doping or not. The rules simply say that the athlete should not have returned positive for a banned drug, he added.