Sushil Kumar is bracing up for a long legal battle in the hope of conducting trails against Narsingh Yadav for 2016 Rio Olympics if he he fails to get relief from the Delhi High Court.
India’s double Olympic medallist, who has already knocked on the doors of the Delhi HC seeking a trial in the 74kg category, is hoping for a favourable order on May 27, the next date of hearing.
However, the HC has made it clear that it would only intervene in the matter as a last resort after going through the replies of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), sports ministry and the Sports Authority of India (SAI). Thus, the Sushil camp is not ruling out moving the Apex court if situation comes to that.
I am not going to sit quietly. If I have to win my battle through courts, then let it be. I am just concentrating on my training and fitness as this is what I am good at. The court matter will be decided by my mentor and father-in-law Satpal Singh and the coach,” Sushil said.
Former chief coach Vinod Kumar, who has been personally training Sushil, said: “We are waiting for the Delhi HC’s order. We are confident of getting a favourable order. If that doesn’t happen, then there is an option of approaching a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court. Even if we don’t get a relief from that bench, then the option of moving to the Supreme Court is always open.”
Sushil is miffed that he wasn’t told earlier about WFI’s reluctance for trials, as he then would not have put in the hard work in training.
“I availed the TOPS funding, went to Georgia for a long training stint, put in 10-12 hours at the SAI’s Sonepat centre preparing for Rio. For what? I would have stopped practising then and there. I would have concentrated on other priorities in my life. Why have they kept hanging the issue till the last? Now that I have come this far and I’m at my peak fitness level, the federation wants me to forget about my Olympic dream. Sorry, it will not happen till a fair trial is conducted at the earliest. I am going to fight my case at the highest level,” he added.
The 32-year-old said he took the legal route after losing faith in his own federation and its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, whom he accused of “breaching trust” by going back on his words.
“I have lost faith in the WFI and the president because they have backed out of the earlier promise made to me of trials. All these years, I have been training day in and day out to get a chance to represent my country at Rio. It was on the federation chief’s insistence that I continued my training even after Narsingh had won the quota last year from the World Championships because Brij Bhushan ji had promised me that a selection trial will happen.
“He had told me after Narsingh’s win at the Worlds that the quota is for the country and not for an individual. His words were ‘the best wrestler will be sent to Rio after a trial and you are our best, so continue your training’,” said Sushil.