In the latest twist to the ongoing Sushil Kumar versus Narsingh Pancham Yadav saga, the Delhi High Court on Thursday said that Sports Code has given flexibility and autonomy to the federations to decide “whether or not to hold trails for selections”.
This has come after the sports ministry, when asked about its role in the selection process, told the HC that “it has no role to play and that WFI is an autonomous body”.
While reserving the order for June 6, Justice Manmohan also took serious note of the “false affidavit” being filed by WFI vice-president Raj Singh in support of Sushil. “He (Raj Singh) cannot be allowed to go scot-free,” Justice Manmohan indicated that he was inclined to issue a notice as to why perjury proceedings be not initiated against Raj Singh. HC also wondered how the petitioner got the affidavit even before filing the petition.
Meanwhile, WFI has also alleged that Sushil “misused public money” during his stint in Georgia with the other wrestlers in March. “He was training 40km away from the camp with the Georgian wrestling team,” WFI told the court.
However, Sushil’s counsel Amit Sibal defended his decision saying: “If I had to train with Indian wrestlers, I could have done that in India only. I get to train with better Georgian wrestlers.”
WFI has also told the court that it has already sent on May 3 the name of Yadav to United World Wrestling, which oversees the sport at the Olympics. WFI usually sends the wrestler who has won the “quota”.
Sushil’s counsel told the court that Sushil’s non-participation at the World Championships last year, where Yadav won the quota place, could not be held as a reason for his disqualification from the Olympics this year.
Reacting to Sushil’s plea that WFI should follow American and Russian examples of holding trails before selecting the final name for the Games, the federation told the court that “trials have already been held in September 2015, March 2016, April 2016 and May 2016”.
“We cannot have trials every other day,” stated WFI.