Cleared of doping charges by the International weightlifting federation, double Commonwealth Games gold medallist weightlifter Sanjita Chanu has put herself in line for the coveted Arjuna Award as per the 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 coveted honour.
During the pendency of the case, Chanu tested positive for a banned substance in May 2018. But the High Court in its order in August 2018 directed the Awards 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.
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On Wednesday, the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) wrote to the sports ministry to comply with the High Court order. “Now the dope positive case of Sanjita Chanu has been closed by international federation, the order passed by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi on August 30, 2018 must be complied with and Sanjita (Chanu) will be conferred Arjuna Award-2017 for which she applied or Arjuna Awards-2018 as per orders of the HC for her meritorious achievements in weightlifting,” the letter said.
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 (Chanu) case will be taken up this year,” the source told PTI. The International Weightlifting Federation (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 (WADA). The 26-year-old, who claimed innocence since 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.