Reports | Asiad gold medalist Amit Panghal might not receive Arjuna Award due to 2012 doping ban

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Reports | Asiad gold medalist Amit Panghal might not receive Arjuna Award due to 2012 doping ban

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SportsCafe Desk


Indian boxer Amit Panghal might not be considered for the prestigious Arjuna Award because of a doping ban for anabolic steroids back in 2012, after which he was banned for a period of two years. Phangal beat Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov to clinch the gold in Men’s 49 kg category in Jakarta.

49kg boxer, Amit Panghal, was tested positive for an anabolic steroid in 2012 and was consequently banned for two years. Amit later appealed against the verdict that led to the ban being reduced to a year as he was a first-time offender. But as per a recent report in the Hindustan Times, according to the rules of the sports ministry, any penalization for doping renders an athlete ineligible for the Arjuna award and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. This meant that Amit’s 2012 doping ban could cost him the Arjuna award. 

“I tested positive during a competition and trained hard for one-and-a-half years during the ban. After the Jakarta gold, I may be a top contender for Arjuna. I hope my doping record will not affect my chances.I suffered from chickenpox and had taken prescribed medicine by the doctor. I was young then and unaware about food and the composition of medicines that I was taking,” the 22-year-old said over the phone from Rohtak to HT.

The 22-year old boxer has had a truly eventful year, as he recently bagged gold in the 49kg category by beating Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov at the Asian Games in Jakarta after having previously won silver in the 2018 Gold Coast CWG. 

This year, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) nominated Gaurav Bhiduri and Sonia Lather for the prestigious Arjuna award. On Friday, the sports ministry extended the deadline for nominations to September 12 wherein athletes with credible performances at the Asian and Commonwealth Games could also be included.  The BFI is yet to decide whether to send more nominations or not.

 “Amit’s medal was saving our saving grace. However, we have not yet decided if we will be sending more nominations. A decision will be taken by September 11 or 12,” BFI secretary general Jay Kowli said.

Indian Discus thrower Seema Punia’s name was nominated for the Khel Ratna in 2015 and she has been recommended for the Arjuna award this year as well despite being involved in a doping controversy earlier in her career. But in Punia’s case, she was reprimanded and not suspended, which is not the same for Amit.

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