New Delhi, Sep 17:
Incheon-bound boxer Manoj Kumar, who was forced to drag the sports ministry to the court after he was controversially denied the Arjuna Award, will finally get the prestigious award, an official said Wednesday.
Sports secretary Ajit Sharan told IANS that the government had decided to bestow the Arjuna Award upon Manoj, a 2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, after the Incheon Asian Games.
“Manoj will get the Arjuna Award. He will be given the award after the Asian Games,” Sharan told IANS.
Sharan said the government took the decision after Delhi High Court requested it to consider whether the light welterweight boxer could be given the award.
“The court had asked the ministry to reconsider the decision and we found that Manoj deserves the Award,” Sharan added.
Manoj, a quarterfinalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, was overlooked by the Kapil Dev-led Arjuna Awards selection committee, which mistakenly believed that he was involved in a doping case. Boxer Jai Bhagwan was selected ahead of Manoj.
Sharan said Manoj not getting the Arjuna Award earlier was “a case of mistaken identity” as he was confused with a namesake who had tested positive for drugs.
Manoj was again reassured by the ministry officials that his name would be added to a list of 15 athletes after a review meeting. But Manoj was again overlooked in the review meeting and it prompted him to take the legal route.