Bhubaneswar: World- renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has won the gold medal in people's choice prize at world championship festival of sand sculpting Russe, 2016, Bulgaria, for his sand sculpture 'Drugs Kill Sports'. Sudarsan, who won the medal on Friday, has got highest vote from visitors, said a statement on Saturday.

Sudarsan Pattnaik tweeted a photo of him set against his award-winning "Drugs Kill Sport" sculpture
Sudarsan Pattnaik tweeted a photo of him set against his award-winning "Drugs Kill Sport" sculpture

"I am very happy that my sand art got the gold medal. I have created the two faces — one is of Lance Armstrong and another is Maria Sharapova, the two iconic players who were mired in the drug controversy, thus bringing bad name for themselves and the entire sports world," said Sudarsan in a statement.

"I wanted to convey the message to the entire sports fraternity to uphold the inspirational stature of sports. Let the spirit of the game prevail," he added. He said modern day sports supplemented by advanced technologies have reached a new level of competition throwing new challenges to all stakeholders such as sports personnel, organisers and regulators. One such unsolicited issue is usage of performance enhancing drugs by sports personnel. "My sand art 'Drugs Kill Sports' is an awareness-creating sculpture," said Sudarsan.

This championship started on May 26 and continued till June 3. A total of 10 artists from around the world participated in this championship. The topic of the competition was 'Sport World and Olympic Symbols' and the height of the sculpture was 2 metres.

So far, Padma Shri awardee sand artist Sudarsan has participated in more than 50 international sand sculpture championships and festivals around the world and won many prizes. His sand sculptures are based on social issues and current topics. Recently, he won the gold medal in Moscow for creating sand sculpture on Peace and Nonviolence.