New Delhi: The selection process for the national sports awards champions could be held this year until following the Tokyo Olympics, which are set to be operated from July 23 to August 8.
The purpose of the delay is so that players who gain medals at the Olympics can also be incorporated in awardees' listings.
"We have already received nominations for this year's National Sports Awards. The dates of nominations are closed as of now. But in our last meeting, we discussed about including Olympic medallists, if any, for consideration in this year's awards," a sports ministry source reported PTI.
"The Olympics end on August 8, so the process for selection of awardees might get delayed," he continued.
The ceremony itself could likewise be checked if the preference panel cannot conclude the titles of the awardees within ten days of the Games' closing.
"We will take a final call on this issue soon. We are planning to have another meeting just after the Olympics to decide on this. If any of our athletes win an Olympic medal, he or she will be considered.
"If we can conduct the meeting within a week or 10 days after the Olympics, then the awards will be given on August 29 otherwise it might be postponed by a few days," the source stated.
The awards are presented away every year by the nation's president on August 29, the National Sports Day, which is additionally the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand.
The previous year, 74 winners were presented with the awards. The award money further enhanced significantly with the Khel Ratna awardees receiving Rs 25 lakh, Arjuna awardees Rs 15 lakh, Dronacharya (Lifetime) awardees Rs 15, and Dhyanchand title-holders Rs 10 lakh.