If one were to go by World Championships bronze-medallist Ramesh Kumar Gulia's version that he was robbed of a place in the national team during the trials held at SAI, Centre, Sonepat on Sunday, a controversy is brewing in the selection of wrestlers.
Ramesh will not be able to represent India at the Commonwealth Games in October after losing to Narsingh Yadav, an Asian Championships gold-medallist.
Ramesh says he would not have complained had he lost to Yadav on an even turf. “It is because I have spoken against my federation (Wrestling Federation of India) for not supporting me to get the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna,” he alleged after walking out of the trials during his second-round bout.
Ramesh alleged the referee was biased and didn't give him the points he had won. “The federation is against me,” said Ramesh. “I clearly threw my opponent but instead of giving me three points, the referee gave me one. When I objected, he didn't listen to me. Even the federation officials there didn't pay heed to my objection. I left the bout midway and came home,” he added.
Officials at the venue refuted Ramesh's claims and said there was nothing wrong with the bout. “He was beaten fairly by his opponent,” said Kartar Singh, WFI secretary. “Everyone was watching and there was no reason to influence the referee. We looked at his complaint and found there was no problem with refereeing.” Ramesh (74kg) is perhaps the country's only sportsperson, who has won medals in all age-group categories at the World Championships. Before breaking India's 42-year-old World Championships' medal drought in Helsinki last year, Ramesh had pocketed world title in the sub-junior and junior categories.
He had also won gold in the Manchester Commonwealth Games and was a quarterfinalist in the Athens Olympics.