After being cleared of doping, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist Sanjita Chanu will finally receive the coveted Arjuna Award which has been withheld since 2018.
According to a report in PTI, a Sports Ministry source confirmed that the weightlifter will be conferred with the Arjuna Award as per a 2018 Delhi High Court order.
Here are more details on the same.
The Delhi High Court had directed the selection committee to consider Chanu and keep the decision in a sealed cover to be disclosed only if she was absolved of the doping charges.
"Sanjita is absolved of all the doping charges, so we will have to abide by the Delhi High Court order and consider her for the Arjuna award," the ministry source told PTI.
After being ignored in 2016 and 2017, Chanu had filed a writ petition before the Delhi HC challenging the decision to exclude her from the list of recommendations.
In August 2018, the Delhi HC directed the committee to consider her for the award and keep its decision in a sealed cover, pending a decision on her appeal against the dope charges.
Last month, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), on the recommendation of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) dropped the doping charge against Chanu after more than two-and-a-half years of investigation.
The decision helped the 26-year-old eligible to apply for the Arjuna Award.
Following IWF's decision, the national federation wrote to the Sports Ministry to comply with the High Court order.
Earlier this month, Chanu had said she is happy after being exonerated of the doping charges that once pushed her to the brink of quitting the sport.
"I am very happy, I was waiting for this day for so many years. But the result is also sad as my life has changed completely. It has been ruined because of this case," she told PTI.
She had applied for the award last month as her provisional suspension was revoked.
The IWF had allowed her to compete in tournaments.
However since her case had not been closed, the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) informed her that she was ineligible for the sports awards, which cannot be given to dope-tainted athletes.
However, things got solved.
Manipur's Chanu has won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. In the 2014 event, she zoomed to victory in the 48 kg category. In 2018, she picked up the top prize in the 53 kg category.
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