Despite his sensational triumph against Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov to clinch the men’s 49 kg boxing gold medal at the Asian Games, Amit Panghal might not be eligible for the Arjuna award because of a doping suspension he received six years ago.
In 2012, Amit was banned for two years after testing positive for an anabolic steroid. He later appealed against the ban and brought it down to a year. Nevertheless, it is likely to deny him the chance of receiving India’s prestigious sporting awards – Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – according to Hindustan Times.
The sports ministry’s criteria for the Arjuna award states that “sportspersons who have been penalised by WADA based on a sample collected by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) or any other agency authorised by WADA and tested by National Dope Testing Laboratory or any other WADA accredited laboratory, will not be eligible for the award”.
About his doping violation, the 22-year-old boxer told Hindustan Times, “I suffered from chickenpox and had taken prescribed medicine by the doctor. I was young then and unaware about food and the composition of medicines that I was taking.”
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) nominated Gaurav Bhiduri and Sonia Lather for the Arjuna award this year.