Fresh controversy surrounds Arunima case

Lucknow: After Government Railway Police claimed loopholes in sportsperson Arunima Sinha's version, a fresh controversy is brewing over her being a "national level player".

On the basis of two certificates provided by Arunima's family it can be said that she had played at the national level, but whether she has the status of national level player on a defined level will be decided by the department and ministry, which is going to give her a job on this basis, a senior SAI (Sports Authority of India) official told PTI.

He said that the railways, which had announced job for Arunima, had requested the authority to verify whether she was a national player or not.

On the request of the railway an employee was sent to Arunima's house at Ambedkar Nagar to collect information, the official said.

He said that if certificates received are to be believed then the sportswoman participated in football in Golden Jubilee National School Games at Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh in the year 2002.

Besides, she also participated in an inter-university volleyball competition for Ram Manohar Lohia University in the year 2006, he added.

He said that on this basis it could be said that the athlete participated in the national level tournament, but he cannot tell whether she was a national level player or not.

Deputy director sports of the state Anil Banoda said that only a person, who had played at the national level for the state team, could be considered as national level player.

Besides, at school level only that person, who has been selected for one team selected from different schools, would be considered as the national level player, he added.

Recently SAI had sent its volleyball coach I S Thakur from training centre at Rae Bareli to collect sports related documents of Arunima.

Thakur said that as per the certificates Arunima participated in an inter-university level competition in Chattisgarh in 2004 and kho-kho competition at district and divisional level.