Millennium Post

Govt removes one from Drona nominees, keeps Arjuna list intact

New Delhi: The Sports Ministry has dropped para-sports coach Satyanarayana from the list of this year's Dronacharya awardees due to a criminal defamation case pending against him, but made no changes to the names recommended for the Khel Ratna and Arjuna awards.

The decision means that tennis player Rohan Bopanna and weightlifter Sanjita Chanu will miss out on the Arjuna awards despite the late push given to their names.
"Yes, we have removed the name of Satyanarayana since he has a case pending against him," a Sports Ministry official said, referring to a defamation case against the coach.
"He has to clear his name first and only then he can be considered," said an official.
Satyanarayana has coached paralympic high-jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu, who won a gold in the Rio Paralympics.
Mariyappan is one among the 17 recommended for the Arjuna award this year.
Satyanarayana Shimoga, on his part has had written to the ministry on August 13, saying that a few "jealous" people had launched a campaign against him and he should be given a chance to clear his name. Mariyappan had also written to the ministry, recommending Satyanarayana for the award.
Clean Sports India's Ashwini Nachappa wrote on August 6, objecting to his name. "We have kept all other names," added the official.
The mails were sent out to the award winners last night after Sports Minister Vijay Goel cleared the file.
The selection panel, appointed by the Sports Ministry had recommended 17 names, including two para-athletes, for the Arjuna awards. It had nominated hockey player Sardar Singh and Rio Paralympics gold medallist Devendra Jhajharia for Khel Ratna, the highest sporting honour in the country.
The ministry chose to stick to the recommendations made by the panel, headed by Justice (retd) C K Thakkar.
Goel had the discretion to add names to the list but he chose to approve the recommendations of the panel.

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