Cleared of doping charges by the International Weightlifting Federation, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sanjita Chanu could be in line for the Arjuna Award in 2020 as per a Delhi High Court order.
After she was ignored for the 2017 Arjuna Awards, Chanu had filed a writ petition before the Delhi HC challenging the decision of the awards committee to exclude her name from those recommended for the honour.
While the case was pending, Chanu was provisionally banned for doping violation in May 2018. The charges have now been withdrawn. The High Court in its order in August 2018 directed the committee to consider her for the Arjuna Award and keep their decision in a sealed cover to be disclosed only if she is absolved of the doping charges.
On Wednesday, the Indian Weightlifting Federation wrote to the sports ministry to comply with the High Court order. The Indian body said she should be conferred Arjuna Award for 2017 when she applied or for 2018 as per orders of the HC.
A source in the national federation said that the ministry has given assurance that Chanu’s case will be taken up soon.
“We have been contacted by the sports ministry, saying Sanjita’s case will be taken up this year,” the source told PTI.
The IWF has dropped the doping charge against Chanu due to “non-conformities” in the handling of her sample. She has demanded an apology and compensation for the “trauma” she has endured.
The IWF made the decision based on the recommendations of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The 26-year-old, who claimed innocence from the beginning, was informed about the final verdict via an e-mail, signed by IWF’s legal counsel Lilla Sagi.
Chanu had won back-to-back gold medals in the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 48kg and 53kg categories respectively.