- 'Sushil is hoping to get a call for a trial and doesn't want to go to court. But the option of moving the court can't be ruled out if the matter is not resolved.'
His chances of a third successive Olympic appearance hanging in balance, two-time medallist Sushil Kumar will not hesitate in going to Court if his demand for a trial against Narsingh Yadav is not accepted by the Wrestling Federation of India.
Sushil has already taken the matter to the doorsteps of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Office but is yet to get a response from the Centre.
"We are still awaiting a response. Sushil has asked for a meeting with the Prime Minister and we are waiting for a reply. Expecting that the government would respond to Sushil's appeal," Sushil's mentor Satpal Singh told PTI.
"Sushil is hoping to get a call for a trial and doesn't want to go to court. But the option of moving the court can't be ruled out if the matter is not resolved," he added.
Sushil has appealed to the Prime Minister, Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Sports Ministry, Wrestling Federation of India and the fans to give him a chance to undergo a trial for the Rio Olympic Games in August.
Besides sending a letter to Prime Minister Modi, requesting for a meeting with him, and urging the Sports Ministry, IOA and WFI, Sushil also uploaded a video message with a hashtag 'Justice4Sushil', where has appealed to the fans on his Facebook and Twitter page to support him to undergo a trial with Narsingh in the men's 74kg freestyle.
Sushil on Saturday has uploaded another video, where he is seen training hard, with a message reading "Even in this hour of uncertainty, I am not shying away from working hard. Decision is yours."
His appeal has got a tremendous response from the fans in the last two days.
According to the rules, a quota belongs to the country and not to a particular wrestler.
"Sushil is getting the support of people from every nook and corner of the country as he is not wrong in asking for a trial. Whoever is best in any category should represent the country at the Olympics. So, between Sushil and Narsingh, whoever wins the trial in 74kg should go to Rio," said Satpal.
Narsingh has been staking his claim to represent India at the Olympics since last year when he had secured a quota place at the World Championship in Las Vegas after winning a bronze in the 74kg. While Sushil, who missed the event due to a shoulder injury, has been demanding a trial.
WFI has been giving hints that it is not too keen on holding the trial in 74kg as it might prompt a few other wrestlers to demand trials in other weight divisions as well.
Keen to avoid any trouble, WFI had asked the Sports Ministry to take a call. However, the Ministry had put the ball back into the Federation's court.
But once again, with Sushil having written to the Prime Minister, the WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said the Federation is now awaiting the Government to give directions regarding holding trials in the contentious 74kg category.
"Since Sushil has written to the Prime Minister's Office, the matter is not in WFI's hands. So we will wait for the Government's direction on how to go about the trial issue," the WFI chief said.
"This is very sensitive matter and I cannot decide alone. As and when we get any instructions from the Government, we will decide. In any case, the WFI will refer the matter to the selection committee, which would include an Olympian, an Arjuna awardee, chief coach, general secretary among others. And then the matter would be decided by the committee. It is not right for me to speculate anything now. There is a procedure that has to be followed," he added.
Narsingh has been insisting that he is the best Indian wrestler in the 74kg.
"I am the best in 74kg category in India. Sushil had won Olympic medals in 66kg but in 74kg. I have come up with consistent performances, which includes defeating London Olympics medallists who have moves up from 66kg to 74kg. At the World Championship last year, I had bagged the quota after beating Cuba's Livan Lopez, who was a bronze medallist at London Games in 66kg. Clearly, I have an advantage over those who have migrated from 66kg to 74kg," Narsingh had said.
On the other hand Sushil claimed: "All I am asking for is trails. Am not saying you send me to Rio because of my glorious past. Am only saying that whoever between me and Narsingh is better, should represent the country at Olympics. Since a quota belongs to the country and not to a particular individual, thus, when there are two good contenders, there must be a fair trial.
"The Sports Authority of India and government have spent a lot of money on me and it is only just that I am given a chance to prove that I have utilised every bit of that money. I would not have asked for the trials if I was not well prepared. I am confident of winning another Olympic medal for India at Rio," he added.