WFI not keen on trial, Sushil Kumar’s Olympic dream shrinks further

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 18, 2016 21:33 IST
Sushil Kumar leaves after the meeting with wrestling federation of India President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. (Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

There was no change in the Wrestling Federation of India’s stand when it came to who their pick would be for the Rio Olympics in the 74kg category. The WFI is sticking its neck for Narsingh Pancham Yadav.

WFI officials met Sushil Kumar and Satpal, his mentor and father-in-law, on Wednesday after being asked by the Delhi high court.

The court had earlier issued notices to WFI, Narsingh Yadav, Indian Olympic Association, Sports Authority of India (SAI), and the sports ministry on Kumar’s contention that the selection trials for the Olympic berth has not been conducted as per the national sports code.

Sushil, a two-time Olympic medallist sought the court’s intervention to try and get WFI to hold trials. WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said the federation has made up its mind, but the decision will not be made public.

Justice Manmohan had asked WFI’s president, vice-president, secretary and coach to sit with Kumar to make an effort to sort out the issue.

Singh, calling the matter sub-judice, declined to make public their stand.

“He came and put forward his views, which we all know that he wants us to hold the trials. He said he deserved a chance. In our case we have told them the difficulties. I told him ‘what will you do in such a scenario’. We did as was told to us by the honourable court and now we will send them our opinion in this matter,” Singh told the media after Wednesday’s meeting.

“He has done so much for wrestling and he deserves this status, but we also have think about the wrestler who won us a quota.”

When quizzed about the WFI’s stated stance of following the tradition of sending those who won the quota places, he said: ‘I don’t want to say anything today in the effect which may be construed later as contempt of the court. Like I said we will convey our opinion to the court and let them decide on the matter.”

He said he had never given any of the wrestlers, including Sushil, any assurance regarding holding a trial.

Sushil said he put forward his demand and it was up to the federation to decide. “Federation has always helped me and I hold no grudges against them. We have put our views and now they have to decide,” he said.

Sushil said Narsingh was like a brother to him, but the situation was such that the matter can only be sorted after a trial.

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