New Delhi: Delhi High Court yesterday observed that grappler Narsingh Pancham Yadav was not a "push over" to represent India in Rio 2016 and questioned compatriot Sushil Kumar for finding fault in the policy which had enabled him in the past to make it to the Olympics thrice.
Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar. Pic/Getty Images
"This is the policy (of WFI) which have been in place since long and now you (Sushil) are saying that this policy is wrong," Justice Manmohan asked Sushil's counsel. "In 2004, 2008 and 2012, you (Sushil) had gone for three Olympics by following the same policy. Their (WFI) procedure has been consistent," the court said. Senior advocate Amit Sibal, who appeared for Sushil, told the court that Sports Code has to be followed by Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and it prescribes selection trial for international event like the Olympics.
"The Sports Code has to be followed. Nobody had come to the court against my selection ever. The WFI has the exclusive monopoly in wrestling in India," he said. The court, however, said, "He (Yadav) had qualified for the world wrestling championship and had won a medal. He is a champion. He is not a push over. He has proved his mettle in an international event."
To this, Sibal contended that he was not disputing the fact that Yadav had secured a berth for India in the Olympics by winning a medal in the world wrestling championship but selection trial has to be conducted. Thereafter, the court asked Sibal, "The fact that you (Sushil) are one of the best in the world is not disputed but after August 2014, you have not been active. Have you won any tournament after August 2014?"
Sibal responded to court's query, saying Sushil was injured at the time of trial for the world championship 2015 and after recovering from the injury, he was undergoing training under international and Indian coaches.
Hearing to continue
The court was hearing the arguments, which would continue today, on a petition filed by two time Olympic medallist Sushil seeking a direction to WFI to conduct a selection trial to decide who will represent India in the men's 74kg freestyle category at the Rio Games.