Sanjita Chanu to receive Arjuna award after IWF drops doping charges

Sanjita Chanu had won back-to-back gold medals in the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 48kg and 53kg categories respectively.

Sanjita Chanu will get the Arjuna award which has been on hold since 2018. (File Photo)   -  RAJEEV BHATT

Two-time Commonwealth Games gold medal winning weightlifter K. Sanjita Chanu, who was recently exonerated from doping charges, will get the Arjuna award for 2018, said Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) Secretary Sahdev Yadav on Thursday.

Yadav informed Sanjita, who fought a long battle for over two-and-a-half years before seeing her name being cleared of doping charges by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) earlier this month, about the development on Wednesday night.

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Sanjita had moved the Delhi High Court after being ignored for the Arjuna Award in 2017. After she was provisionally suspended for testing positive for a banned substance, the court, in its final order on August 30, 2018, directed the Arjuna Award Selection Committee to consider Sanjita’s nomination “uninfluenced” by the doping charges.

“If the Selection Committee is of the view that the petitioner is entitled to Arjuna Award 2018, the decision shall be kept in a sealed cover and her name shall be disclosed only if the petitioner is absolved of the charges of doping…,” the order said.

Following Sanjita’s exoneration of the doping charges, the IWLF reminded the Sports Ministry about the court order. “We wrote to the Sports Ministry about the court order and after going through relevant documents the Ministry confirmed that Sanjita would get the Arjuna award for 2018,” Yadav told Sportstar.

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Celebrating the moment, Sanjita – a Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 2014 and 2018 – sought some help from the Government for her training. “The Sports Authority of India (SAI) had promised to provide me with some equipment for training after my 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal. Perhaps it was held up due to doping issues. I am facing problems in the lockdown. I request the SAI to give me some equipment so that I can carry on my training smoothly,” said Sanjita.

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