The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to give a hearing to two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar on his plea to hold trials to decide India’s contender in the 74-kg freestyle category at the upcoming Rio Olympics.
Noting that the court will not interfere with the decision taken by the expert body, Justice Manmohan asked WFI’s president, vice-president, secretary and coach to sit with Kumar to make an effort to sort out the issue.
Since the federation has made a decision to send the name of Narsingh Pancham Yadav, why don’t you call and explain everything to Kumar, the court said.
The court noted that Kumar has brought laurels to the country and his contention was worthy of consideration by the federation.
“But you cannot undermine the effort of Yadav. Without him, you would not have secured the Olympic berth,” Justice Manmohan said.
“If somebody gets injured during trial, what will happen,” the court queried advocate Kaushik Moitra, who appeared for Kumar.
WFI’s counsel told the court that till 2014, Kumar was participating in 66 kg category. “Now he wants to participate in 74kg category. Yadav won bronze in the 2015 world wrestling championship. For the last two years, Kumar has been avoiding a competition with Yadav,” the counsel said.
Kumar has not been participating in official training, the counsel said, adding that he has been training under some other coach.
The court 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.
The WFI has been unrelenting so far as it is of the view that going for trials will set a precedent.
Sushil has written two letters in this regard. A separate one has been mailed to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking an appointment with Narendra Modi to get his blessings for the Olympic journey.
Sushil has also written to sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal, and WFI and SAI (Sports Authority of India) director-general Injeti Srinivas, requesting for trials.