New Delhi: Grapplers Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Pancham Yadav should not be used as "pawns" in the "politics" of the wrestling federation, the Delhi High Court yesterday said and termed as "unfortunate" the tussle between the two as to who will represent India in the 74kg freestyle category at the Rio Olympics 2016.
Narsingh Yadav and Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar
Justice Manmohan also wondered whether the two wrestlers, who have brought laurels for the country "even understand what they are doing" as these things were happening due to "politics" in the federation, which is "shocking".
"All these things are happening due to the politics in the federation. These two wrestlers should not be used as pawns like this. They should not be used for politics. This is shocking," Justice Manmohan said.
"I do not know whether they (Sushil and Yadav) even understand what they are doing. They both are international athletes. This is very unfortunate," the court added.
The court was hearing arguments on a petition filed by two-time Olympic medallist Sushil seeking a direction to Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to conduct a selection trial to decide who will represent India in the men's 74kg freestyle category at the Rio Games.
"Athlete who secures a quota, represents the country in the Olympics. Past record shows this. Sushil Kumar himself was the beneficiary of this in past three occasions. Having selection trial at this stage would be perverse," senior advocate Nidesh Gupta, who appeared for Yadav, argued.
Regarding the arguments advanced by Sushil's counsel as to why the selection trial for this category was held last year, Gupta said, "trial had be done before September 2015 as the world championship was in September. If we do not send out best athlete then chances of winning a quota would have been less."