Arjuna panel to take up Manoj's case

 The case of boxer Manoj Kumar will be taken up by the Arjuna Award Committee on Tuesday after it was realised that the pugilist was hard done following a blunder by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Manoj was among those nominated for the Arjuna Award on the basis of his performance in the last four years (2010-2013). His name, however, was not discussed on the day of selection (August 12) after he was mistaken for a school-level boxer, who was suspended for three months for doping offence in June, 2012.

The dope-sanctioned boxer also goes by the name of Manoj Kumar. The boy had tested positive for THC (metabolite for Marijuana) at the National School Games in January 2012 and was suspended by the anti-doping disciplinary panel, headed by Dinesh Dayal.

Interestingly, during the suspension period served by the school boy (from June 4 to September 13, 2012), Manoj was competing at the London Olympics, where he reached the quarterfinals. Three other sportspersons, nominated for the award, were also overlooked for their past doping offences.

“We realised that the Manoj we took to be involved in the doping violation was another boxer with the same name. So we have decided that the jury will meet again on Tuesday (August 19) to deliberate on his case,” sports secretary Ajit Sharan told Deccan Herald on Thursday.

The 12-member selection committee, led by former cricketer Kapil Dev, recommended 15 sportspersons including boxer Jai Bhagwan for this year’s Arjuna Award.  Manoj, however, is ahead of Jai by two points in the scoring for the Award.

One has to wait till Tuesday to find out whether the Ministry decides to add to the awardees’ list the name of ‘real’ Manoj Kumar.

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