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WGAI blames IGU for golfer Aditi missing Arjuna award

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New Delhi, Sep 25: In a scathing attack on the Indian Golf Union for failing to nominate Aditi Ashok for this year's Arjuna award, the Women's Golf Association of India (WGAI) on Tuesday said it will approach Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore while not ruling out the possibility of a parallel body for governing women's golf in the country.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the 12th edition of the Hero Indian Open, WGAI Secretary General Champika Sayal said she was shocked to not find teenaged Aditi's name among the list of 20 Arjuna awardees, who were conferred the awards at a glittering ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Tuesday.

"We were shocked to know that Aditi's name was not there in the Arjuna Awards list. In fact, we wanted her to be nominated immediately after the Rio Olympics but that was not done," she said.

Sayal alleged that the Indian Golf Union (IGU), the governing body for the sport in the country, had given a "bizarre" reason of "two athletes from the same sport can't be nominated for the award" after the WGAI questioned the absence of Aditi's name from the Arjuna award list.

"The fact is a deserving player has been denied the Arjuna award and that's a massive loss. The IGU is not doing anything and at the same time it is not willing to give the charge," she said.

"We don't get access to what is happening in IGU, no meetings, no circulars. Unfortunately, when we see the sport is not being developed we can't do anything," she added.

However, on being questioned, IGU Director General Major General Bibhuti Bhushan (Retd) shifted the blame on the golfer, saying she did not sign the form required for nomination.

"We recommended two names this year — Shubhankar Sharma and Aditi. But according to the process, you send the form to the player, so they can sign it. We waited till the last day, Shubhankar signed the form but Aditi did not," he said.

This year, Shubhankar is the only recipient of the Arjuna award from the discipline.

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