Mistaken identity costs wrestler Amit Arjuna award

After boxer Manoj Kumar, it is wrestler Amit Kumar who might have been a victim of mistaken identity for a doping offence.

Amit, who was recommended for the Arjuna award by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), was not considered by the 12-member selection panel on August 12 after it was “reported” the young grappler was in the list of athletes sanctioned by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).

He was “reprimanded” for testing positive for a diuretic, Furosemide, prior to the 2012 London Olympics.

However, WFI officials and Amit claim he was never involved in any doping incident and that they got in touch with Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Sports Ministry when they got to know about it. Subsequently, Amit’s name was considered when the panel was reconvened for the second time last week. Amit, a silver medallist at the 2013 World Championships, however, lost out to Greco-Roman grappler Sunil Rana on the basis of points.

“The news came as a shock for us. As soon we got to know he was not considered because of doping charge we spoke to the SAI officials who accepted the error. His name was discussed in the second meeting,” a WFI source told Deccan Herald. While Amit was left bewildered with the development, coach Virender Kumar at Chhatrasal Stadium filed an RTI questioning why the grapplers’ name was not discussed in the first meeting. He is yet to get a reply.

“I have never been reprimanded for any doping offence. I don’t know where from my name was dragged into this,” said a disappointed Amit.

It must be noted that NADA keeps all the records including orders regarding each case which give the father's name of an athlete plus his home address etc right at the beginning, which can easily be matched with any nomination for an Arjuna award since the details of an Arjuna nominee will contain his personal details also.

The Sports Ministry or the SAI needs to take responsibility for the error. SAI DG Jiji Thomson, when contacted, however refused to comment on the issue.

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