Sushil Kumar takes fight for Rio 2016 Olympics berth to High Court

Sushil Kumar's plea states that under the Sports Code rules, a berth to compete in the Olympics belongs to the country and not a particular wrestler.

Written by Aneesha Mathur , Mihir Vasavda | New Delhi | Updated: May 17, 2016 8:42 am
Sushil Kumar, Sushil Kumar High Court, High Court Sushil Kumar, Sushil, Sushil vs Narsingh, Narsingh vs Sushil, Narsingh Yadav, Sushil Rio 2016 Olympics, Sushil Rio, Rio Olympics Sushil Kumar, Sushil, Wrestling Sushil Kumar previously asked for a fair trial to be conducted to ensure the best wrestler goes to Rio Olympics. (Source: Express File)

Before they grapple on the mat, Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Yadav will have to endure an ugly bout in court. Their face-off reached its expected destination on Monday after the two-time Olympic medallist moved the Delhi High Court, seeking a trial against Narsingh to decide who among them gets to represent the country at the Rio Olympics.
While insisting that they are “ashamed” of the step they have been “forced” to take, Sushil’s coach and father-in-law Satpal Singh said they were left with no other option but to approach the court after virtually all doors were slammed in their faces in the last 10 days.

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) assistant secretary Vinod Tomar confirmed that they have received a court notice.

Kumar’s plea, scheduled to be heard on Tuesday before the bench of Justice Manmohan, states that under the Sports Code rules, a berth to compete in the Olympics belongs to the country and not a particular wrestler, and a trial is compulsory for selection, in this case for the 74 kg men’s freestyle event at the Olympics.

Narsingh claims that he is the man in form and since he has won the quota, he should be allowed to participate in the Olympics. The WFI, too, has maintained so far that they will stick to the tradition of sending the quota winner to the Olympics.

Kumar had not been able to participate in the 2015 world championships as he was unwell. Yadav had represented India at the championships and secured the berth for the Olympics.

“Narsingh Yadav won a bronze medal in the world championship 2015 and secured a berth for the country. It is not necessary that the person who secured the berth would be the same athlete who would participate in the Olympics. We are not saying that Sushil Kumar should be sent for the event, we are only saying that proper trials need to be held,” said Kaushik Moitra, an advocate with TMT Law firm, which is representing Kumar.

“The sports code requires separate trials to be conducted for every international event,” says the plea.

Sushil’s move comes after the government decided not to intervene in the matter. His PR machinery, too, has gone into an overdrive, launching social media campaigns with ‘Support for Sushil’ messages. He also wrote a letter to the Sports Ministry last week, requesting that they ask the WFI to conduct trials, but Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal refused to be dragged into the matter. “WFI is an autonomous body and we cannot interfere in their selection matters. They have their rules according to which they select their teams,” Sonowal said.

The national camp for the Olympics, which begin on August 5, gets underway at the Sports Authority of India centre in Sonepat on Wednesday and only quota winners have been called along with sparring partners of their choice. Running out of options as well as time, approaching the High Court was Sushil’s last resort.

“We are ashamed that the issue had to go this far, but we were left with no other option,” Satpal said. “All Sushil has been asking for is a trial, which is the best and fairest way to decide who goes to the Olympics. We are not against Narsingh; he has done well to win the quota. This is about fairness.”

This is not the first time the WFI has been dragged to court over team selection for the Olympics. In 2004, Kripa Shankar Patel had moved the Delhi High Court after Yogeshwar Dutt, who had won the quota, was named in the Athens-bound squad at his expense. The court had ruled in favour of WFI, saying that the wrestler who has won the quota should be allowed to go unless he is unfit or out of form.

The WFI office bearers and national coaches are scheduled to meet on Tuesday. Although the meeting is to decide the fate of wrestlers who have been accused of indiscipline during the Olympic qualifiers, speculation is rife that they could also take a decision on conducting trials. However, sources said that with the issue being sub judice, they are likely to wait for the court order rather than deciding themselves.

The Olympics has 18 wrestling events, out of which India has secured berths to participate in eight. According to the rules, only one athlete per country can participate in one event.

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First Published on: May 17, 2016 12:40 am
  1. G
    Gina
    May 16, 2016 at 11:21 pm
    Sushil Kumar is an anti-national for contesting BJP decision. Narsingh YADAV is a desendant of lord Krishna. Going to court is like suing Lord Krishna itself. RSS should use its young terrorists ABVP to protest.
    Reply
    1. R
      Raje
      May 16, 2016 at 11:28 am
      He is the SRT of Indian circket, pla 20 yrs and still stuck with his pad on in 2012.
      Reply
      1. V
        Vikas yadav
        May 16, 2016 at 11:52 am
        Its Narsing who won quota for India for Rio not shusheel so Narsing deserve to go..it will set a poor trend for future games if some quaify then other will ask for trial....
        Reply
        1. H
          Harikrishnan
          May 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm
          tomorrow every Athlete who didn't get selected for Olympics to another Indian will claim the same reason to re-selection. Another trial as per his convenience. There should not be any trial and Narsing should go for the Olympics.
          Reply
          1. C
            Caamano
            May 16, 2016 at 11:35 pm
            Sushil Kumar should have shown more grace. Yadav did not stop Kumar from contesting in the selection process. Remember the last bout of Kumar in the last Olympics, something went really wrong there, could he hv asked for rebout then.
            Reply
            1. T
              the truth
              May 16, 2016 at 11:55 am
              i think shushil Kumar is playing a bad loser! the guy have not competed in any compeion in this weight category apart form the 2014 commonwealth games. now he wants to fight one bout and get to the olympic?? its all about the father-in-law...the political connections, PR blitz and effort to stay relevant without doing enough. Narsingh it should be! I am quite sure the old dude(the father in law and probably the original brain behind it all) wont had let anyone a chance to even ask for a trial if it were Sushil who had won the quota!
              Reply
              1. K
                Krishna
                May 17, 2016 at 12:54 pm
                Sahi kha yaar ye yadav itne bgwaan bne h to trial hona CHAYIYE .....trial k liye khne wala SHER INdian h sushil bhai khuch galat nhi h jb sena phle pdaavldti fer agle or antim pdaav m senapati hi Jeet dilwata h hme Jeet chayiye h to bus sushil Kumar must go the wrestling GOd .
                Reply
                1. K
                  Krishna
                  May 17, 2016 at 12:49 pm
                  Sushil must go or a trial must happen
                  Reply
                  1. H
                    HILARY
                    May 17, 2016 at 9:24 am
                    I do not understand why the court should get into this matter. The procedure for selection is quite clear with the International Federation. You have to enter into a minimum number of qualifying tournaments which are being held specifically for this purpose. If you qualify there then you secure a berth from your country.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;To talk about a trial at this stage is ridiculous. There is a great degree of risk that the wrestlers will get injured during the trials and the Olympics being so close that will ruin everything.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      Mahesh
                      May 16, 2016 at 12:19 pm
                      Narsing Yadav is the right candidate as he has won the quota also he has lots of experience in 74KG category. And I m sure if trail happened between them Narsing Yadav surely beat Sushil Kumar.
                      Reply
                      1. P
                        Pinna
                        May 16, 2016 at 7:16 pm
                        So now onwards, it will be courts, who will decide the composition of teams. The rot needs to end here and no such peions be heard. It is bound to open a Padora's Box.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Shradheya
                          May 18, 2016 at 8:20 am
                          Each nation can win only one quota place in every weight cl. India has won eight out of a maximum 18 available spots and this will be the biggest ever wrestling squad to compete in the Olympics from the country. Fellow wrestler Narsingh earned the only quota place for the country by winning a bronze medal in the Las Vegas world championship in the 74kg category in 2015. Sushil, who could not compete in Las Vegas due to a shoulder injury, has been demanding a trial between them to confirm the quota. As Narsingh refused, Sushil may move court. Here are the details for entry to some other sports in the Olympics:
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            sk
                            May 16, 2016 at 1:41 pm
                            They can take both to RIo and who ever is fit on judgement day and go for fight. Otherwise, if they are fighting in court is not counted on international stage.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              Sid Srivastava
                              May 16, 2016 at 10:52 am
                              Courts decide Pollution limits, Presidents rule, Medical college admissions, Cricket advertising on TV, and now they will "naturally" select Sportsmen for Olympics. lt;br/gt;Is there any pillar of governance left from encroachment by the Ayatollahs of Consution.
                              Reply
                              1. V
                                vasanjs
                                May 17, 2016 at 12:33 am
                                The Court has no role in such matters. India is descending into anarchy, if courts will start adjudicating on selection of compeors in sports, absent mala fide intentions. Courts adjudicate on legal issues, and nothing else.
                                Reply
                                1. V
                                  V B
                                  May 16, 2016 at 10:55 am
                                  If it violates no rules, the holding of a fair trial seems to be a logical solution. The Sports b MInister's behaviour is worthy of a good-for-nothing politician particularly when the federation itself is reported to have approached him. Shirking responsibility in the name of trying to appear"fair" is irresponsible. If one knows one's options one has to be decisive and impartial.lt;br/gt;and not evasive.
                                  Reply
                                  1. V
                                    Vipin Gautam
                                    May 17, 2016 at 1:34 am
                                    Wfi must to solve this issue, this type issue always degrade aur athletes moral.
                                    Reply
                                    1. Y
                                      yash sehgal
                                      May 17, 2016 at 12:55 am
                                      Hahaha..what a logic sir ji It means Lullu yadav andsons, Mulla yam yadav, Sadhu yadav n all yadavas r holy , incarnations of Lord Krishna n whatever they do, like jungle raj 1and2 all r wishes of Krishna.. Sir where hv u bought remarkable intellect of urs !!?..LOL..
                                      Reply
                                      1. Y
                                        yash sehgal
                                        May 16, 2016 at 11:44 am
                                        We want an olympics medal for india ..lt;br/gt;We therfore must send who is the best hope ..lt;br/gt;Only a trial b/w two can decide who is betterlt;br/gt;Why Narsimha is shy ..go for it..
                                        Reply
                                        1. Y
                                          yash sehgal
                                          May 16, 2016 at 11:35 am
                                          If he is such, why to hesitate from trial.. Only trial will decide who is better..
                                          Reply
                                          1. Y
                                            yash sehgal
                                            May 16, 2016 at 10:51 am
                                            Right step Sushil..lt;br/gt;I dont understand quota politics in games where india's glory is at stake..lt;br/gt;This quota politics has ruined india..lt;br/gt;Win n bring Olympic Gold for India..
                                            Reply
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