Gopichand confirms recommending Prannoy for Arjuna Award

H S Prannoy
H S Prannoy had questioned the criteria for Arjuna Award selection. File photo: AFP
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New Delhi: H S Prannoy ran into trouble with the Badminton Association of India (BAI) after it did not include him in the list of recommendations for the National Sports Awards that it had sent on June 2. However, as it turns out, national coach Pullela Gopichand had recommended the 27-year-old's name for the Arjuna Award in his capacity as a Khel Ratna Award winner a day later.

Gopichand told IANS on Sunday that he had sent the recommendation on June 3. "I had sent the recommendation on June 3," he said.

Prannoy had launched a scathing attack on the BAI after the federation's list of recommendations went public.

"Same old story. Guy who has medals in CWG and Asian Championships not even recommended by the association. And guy who was not there on any of these major events recommended. #waah #thiscountryisajoke," Prannoy said in a tweet that he later deleted.

P Gopichand

The Keralite had nominated himself for the Arjuna Award and forwarded the application to the Sports Ministry following the snub.

Prannoy and former world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth had been slapped with disciplinary notices for leaving the Indian squad at the Asian Team Championships in the Philippines earlier this year. The two had gone to Barcelona to earn ranking points that was crucial for their chances to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

The BAI said in a statement on Friday that Srikanth has been recommended for the Khel Ratna award while Prannoy has been given 15 days "to respond on his misconduct."

"There are several instances of disciplinary issues with Prannoy; the Federation had been very tolerant all this while but in the recent past his attitude has forced BAI to take action and also relook at the disciplinary policies. A show-cause letter has been issued for the remarks made. If the player fails to respond in the allotted time, BAI will be taking stern action against the shuttler," BAI Secretary General Ajay Kumar Singhania said in the statement.

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