Paddler Sanil Shetty pointed out his grievance on social media after not being selected for the Arjuna Award.
The Arjuna Awards were instituted in the year 1961 by the Govt of India. Since then every year the Sports and Youth Ministry recommend several athletes for the second-highest sports honour.
Apart from the above table, there are several other criteria looked at by the selection committee.
A sportsperson should have displayed outstanding performances at both the Domestic and International levels for the past four years.
The Government will only consider conferring Arjuna Award in the disciplines falling under the following categories.
- Olympic Games/Asian Games/Commonwealth Games/World Cup/ World Championships disciplines or any equivalent recognized International Tournament.
- Indigenous Games
- Sports for Physically Challenged
Sportspersons who have been penalized or against whom the enquiry is pending/ongoing for the use of drugs/substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) based on the samples collected by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) will not be eligible for the award.
There have been instances in the past where the athletes have been conferred with the Arjuna Award but would be stripped of the medal if they are found to be caught for doping or other disciplinary activities.
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For the past few years, there have been controversies regarding the conferring of the Arjuna and Dhronacharya awards. Sanil Shetty the paddler from Maharashtra was unhappy about not being nominated for the Arjuna Award in 2022 even after performing well for the past four years. He had put up the scoring criteria and the score he achieved in the four-year time frame on his social media handle.
Even after scoring 42.95 points, he wasn’t nominated for the award instead Sreeja Akula with lesser points is being conferred the award. Previously RB Ramesh was not happy about why he was being rejected year after year for the Dhronachrya awards seven after coaching the Indian team to the bronze medal at the 2014 Chess Olympiad. He has trained young prodigy Praggnanandhaa and many more who have gone on to become GMs.