Kataria’s award put on hold

Complaint is that he is little known in kabaddi circles.

“We have, as of now, put his (Kataria's) case (for Dronacharya award) on hold,” Sports Minister Vijay Goel confirmed.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

In the latest case of a sports award recommendation being put on hold, the Government has decided to take a re-look at the case of Heera Nand Kataria in the Dronacharya category.

Kataria was recommended by a committee headed by badminton luminary P. Gopi Chand. The recommendations were approved by Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel on August 22.

Following objections from certain quarters on Kataria’s eligibility, the Sports Minister has asked the department to look into the matter. “We have, as of now, put his case (for Dronacharya award) on hold,” Goel confirmed to Sportstar here on Friday.

The complaint against Kataria is that he is little known in kabaddi circles and is reportedly an official of the Rajasthan Wushu Association.

The awards this year have been dogged by controversies. The Ministry had overturned the recommendation for the Dronacharya Award for para-athletics coach Satyanarayana.

Satyanarayana is credited with coaching high-jumpers H.N. Girisha, who won a silver at the London Olympics in 2012 and Thangavelu Mariyappan, winner of gold at the Rio paralympics last year. Mariyappan was among the Arjuna Award winners this year. Satyanarayana was rejected because of a criminal case pending against him in a Metropolitan court in Delhi.

In other cases, weightlifter Sanjita Chanu, a gold medallist at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the 48-kg category, has approached the Delhi High Court protesting against being excluded for the Arjuna this year.

She has claimed that her credentials were superior to those considered for the honours.

India basketball captain P. Anitha on Friday challenged the decision of the committee not to consider her case above Prasanthi Singh for the Arjuna Award.

K. Keerthivasan reports from Chennai

Having played in eight Asian championships and been part of the Indian team which qualified for the Division ‘A’ category in the FIBA Asia Cup in Bengaluru recently, Anitha, the 32-year-old Southern Railway employee, is of the firm opinion that her achievements are superior compared to those in contention.

“My performance speaks for itself. All I want is justice,” Anitha said.