Sports Ministry orders inquiry into Maheswary fiasco

New Delhi: The Sports Minister Jitendra Singh today ordered an inquiry into triple jumper Renjith Maheswary`s doping controversy, which resulted in his Arjuna award being put on hold.

"I have ordered an inquiry. There is a due diligence process that has to be followed. But I am expecting a report by Monday or latest by Tuesday," said Jitendra Singh after the Sports Awards ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

"It is extremely unfortunate that Renjith`s award has to be put on hold and that too on the day of the ceremony. I wanted the inquiry to be over before the awards function but there wasn`t enough time," he added.

Hours before Maheswary was to be presented the Arjuna Award, the athlete was told under dramatic circumstances that he will have to wait for the coveted honour till an inquiry on whether he had failed a dope test five years back.

And only if he comes clean after an inquiry, he would be presented with the coveted award at a later date.

Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwala said that he is looking into the matter and the AFI will have to see the official records of the past.

"We have to search for the files and official records. We are hoping to complete it by Monday and give the details to the Sports Ministry accordingly," he said.

Sports Secretary P K Deb said there was no information so far on Maheswary`s dope test results.

"I have spoken to Athletics Federation of India (AFI) but there is absolutely no information. I have asked the AFI as well as NADA to send all the details," said Deb.

Terming the development as "tragic", Deb said, "He deserved the award and then we take it away from him. It`s very tragic. I hope he comes out clean and is conferred the award at a later date."

Earlier in the day, Maheswary met Jitendra, who he said had asked him to wait till Monday.

"I met the Minister and clarified my stand. The minister has asked me to wait till Monday. They have not withdrawn my name from the award, just put on hold for some clarification," said the national record holder.