Mary Kom recuses herself from sports awards meeting to avoid conflict
By Rohit Mundayur
New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Boxer M.C. Mary Kom on Saturday recused herself from the meeting wherein her personal coach Chhote Lal Yadav's name was discussed for the Dronacharya award. There was widespread criticism that she is a part of the 12-member committee which is nominating names for national awards for excellence in sports and her own coach is in the list of candidates proposed. But the boxer decided to stay away when her coach's name came up for discussion.
IANS has reliably learnt that she decided to not be a part of the final meeting on Saturday due to the presence of Yadav's name among the nominees. According to sources, Mary had in fact wanted to resign from the committee when media reports appeared pointing at a case of conflict of interest against her.
The Boxing Federation of India had nominated Yadav on the basis of Mary's recommendation.
Mary is among the athletes who are in the selection panel -- which includes former footballer Baichung Bhutia, former long-jumper Anju Bobby George, former women's cricket team captain Anjum Chopra and table tennis coach Kamlesh Mehta - that will recommend names for the Khel Ratna, Arjuna, Dhyanchand and Dronacharya awards to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. The other prominent names are Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma, Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Jhulaniya, Sports Authority of India Director General Sandeep Pradhan and Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) CEO Commander Rajesh Rajagopalan.
The BFI has nominated world championships bronze medallist Gaurav Bidhuri and Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal for the Arjuna Award while Sandhya Gurung and Shiv Singh are the other coaches they have nominated for the Dronacharya.