New Delhi: Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar today lost a legal battle in the Delhi High Court which dismissed his plea for selection trial for Rio games observing it may “jeopardise” the chances of selected candidate Narsingh Pancham Yadav and the country would be the “loser”.
Justice Manmohan acknowledged Sushil’s feats in the international arena and termed him a “legendary wrestler” in 66 kg weight category but did not allow him to have a chance to compete for the Olympic berth in the 74 kg category. The court said that Sushil’s petition seeking a direction to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to hold a selection trial to decide who will represent India in 74 kg freestyle category at the Rio Olympics was “untenable in law as well as contrary to facts”.
“In international arena of sports, medals are won not only by ‘brawn’ but also by ‘brain’. The last minute challenge to selection can disturb the mental preparation of the selected. “Consequently, a sportsperson innocently asking for ‘just a trial’ may be jeopardising the chances of the selected candidate to win, having disastrous consequences for national interest.
In the duel asked for, the country will be the loser,” the court said. “Keeping in view the conclusions reached above, the petitioner’s (Sushil) prayer for a trial is untenable in law as well as contrary to facts. Accordingly, present writ petition and applications are dismissed,” it said. In its 37-page judgement, the court observed that the WFI has adopted a “reasonable, transparent and fair procedure” in selecting Yadav as India’s representative to Rio Olympics in the 74 kg category.
“The system suggested by the petitioner (Sushil) of having trials after the qualification event cannot be accepted as the sole method for selection as it implies that the country would not send its best athlete to secure a place for itself in Olympics,” it said. The court said though Sushil has won a number of laurels for India in 66 kg weight category but on consistent current form, WFI’s opinion that Yadav “is better is not unreasonable or perverse”. Meanwhile, the court also issued notice to WFI’s Vice President Raj Singh asking him why perjury proceedings should not be initiated against him for giving false affidavit before it. (More) PTI
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