New Delhi: Name of triple-jumper Ranjith Maheshwary is likely to be removed from the list of Arjuna Award winners of this year.
The yet-to-be-confirmed action is followed by a report in Hindustan Times which said that the athlete had failed a dope test in 2008.
As per the newspaper report, during the 48th Open national athletics meet in Kochi, the urine sample of Maheshwary -- he won the triple jump title clearing 15.91m - had tested positive for the banned stimulant, ephedrine.
He was provisionally suspended and disqualified.
However, at the hearing, the Athletic Federation of India (AFI) panel let him off the hook by slapping a suspension of just three months.
The report also says that it wasn’t the first time Maheshwary was having a brush with performance enhancing drugs. In 2005, while training in Patiala, he was hospitalised under mysterious circumstances. Chief athletics coach, Bahadur Singh, had said Maheshwary was down with jaundice after drinking contaminated water in the camp, but a medical expert treating him pointed out that the liver ailment was caused by an overdose of performance enhancing drugs.
The eligibility rule (4.2) for the Arjuna award, as amended on March 15, 2010, states that athletes found positive for use of drugs banned by the IOC will not be eligible for the award.
The reports come as a shock to the sports enthusiasts in the State as President Pranab Mukerjee is to confer the awards to the country’s outstanding sportspersons in the felicitation ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday. Moreover, Maheshwary has already reached here with his family to attend the function.