In a dramatic turn of events late on Thursday, wrestling coach,Yashvir Singh, who was in line for the prestigious Dronacharya Award, pulled out of the race. Apparently, the move was to pave the way for his colleague, Ramphal, to get the nod of the selection panel.
When contacted, Yashvir refused to elaborate on the matter, saying he did not want to stir up a controversy. "I withdrew my name due to personal reasons," was all he told HT on Friday. Yashvir may have been reluctant to speak out, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Unconfirmed reports say that he was under pressure from his senior - Satpal Singh, who is also the chairman of the awards panel.
Sources told HT that of the six wrestling experts, who had applied for the award, the contest was between Yashvir and Ramphal, who share a common training centre at the Chhatrasal Stadium, run by the Delhi education department.
In terms of achievements, Yashvir stands taller. Between 2008 and 2010, he was instrumental in guiding Sushil Kumar to bronze at the Beijing Olympic Games. The grappler followed it with a world title last year. Yashvir's services were also recognised by the FILA, the world body, last year.
It is interesting to note that Satpal, who got the Dronacharya in 2009, had supplied a list of achievements which bear an uncanny resemblance to Yashvir's accomplishments. A former international wrestler, Satpal's nomination to the awards panel too hasn't gone down well among sportspersons. "While nominating sports personalities, the sports ministry should steer clear of controversy," said a former Olympian.