Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil, coaches get a rap

May 10th, 2009 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Sushil Kumar New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has taken a serious view of Olympic bronze medallist Sushil Kumar’s recent acts of misdemeanor and asked him to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against him.
Sushil and the WFI have been at loggerheads for sometime now and the sport’s controlling body in the country was enraged after he was disqualified at the Asian Championships at Pattaya, Thailand, earlier in the week for being overweight.

Sushil could be in serious trouble as the WFI said what happened at Pattaya is a “serious matter and needs to be dealt with appropriately.”

The WFI has asked his coaches Georgian Vladimir and Yashvir Singh also to explain what went wrong with Sushil.

The wrestler, who was competing in his first international event since the Olympics, was found overweight by 400 gm in the 66Kg category.

Sushil, who has been unhappy with the WFI over his training and competition schedule after the Olympics, was let off with a warning in February for pulling out of a tournament in the US at the last-minute.

WFI president G.S Mander told IANS that Sushil has not been living up to his reputation as an iconic sportsperson. He has been on the warpath with the WFI by flouting norms. In both the US competition and at Pattaya, his irresponsible acts deprived another young wrestler a chance of taking part.

“Last time we let him off with a warning. But what happened now is a very serious matter. It can’t be overlooked. A wrestler can’t be found overweight at a major competition. He was representing the country and worldwide it is taken very seriously. We have to deal with it sternly.” said Mander.

“You cannot just walk away, saying that it is a one-off thing. The federation is paying for the training and we have every reason to know what went wrong. His weight was all right during the nationals. Then where was the problem. Sushil and coaches have been asked to respond to the notices by Friday.”

Sushil told IANS that show-cause for a one-off incident like this puts the player under “pressure”.

“I practised hard and the federation is aware how much effort I have put in for the tournament. It’s not that I was guilty of any negligence. After all it was an important event. It so happened that I could not shed those 400 gm. Show-cause for such a thing is a bit too much. It puts a wrestler under mental stress and strain.”

“The WFI chief was there at Pattaya and he knows how much we have worked for the competition. I don’t know who is behind all these things,” he said.

“I wanted to take part in some tournaments to prepare for the Asian Championship, but I was not allowed.”

His coach Yashvir, too, said that it was important for Sushil to compete in either Egypt or Belarus to get back to match-fitness before the Asian Championship in Pattaya.

“After the Olympics, Sushil has not competed in any event. He needed to have some international competition under his belt before the Asian Championship. WFI rejected our proposal and that is also responsible to some extent for what happened at Pattaya.”

Mander rubbished the explanation.

“There are some tournaments where the government guidelines stipulate that only second string team be sent for the youngsters to get exposure. So, no way we could have sent Sushil to certain tournaments he wanted to go. Moreover, we picked him for the US tournament after he joined the camp, but he pulled out at the last minute,” Mander said.

“We have not been harsh on him by issuing a show-cause. Nobody can take the federation for granted. We have to follow certain rules and regulation.”

Mander also dismissed Yashvir’s defence of the poor sauna bath facility at the national camp in Sonepat.

“I know that the facility is not world standard. And we are trying to get a new sauna. But that can’t be a ground for his overweight as the wrestlers have been using the same facilities and no-one had ever come up with such an excuse.”

Yashvir blamed the cold conditions in Pattaya.

“Generally the wrestlers shed around one kg on the day of the bout. We cannot shed the weight in advance as that would not give them enough recovery time. The weather was a bit cold and he could not lose much weight due to sweat. We admit that we should have been more careful. It should not happen again.”

“I am sure that he will give his best in the World Championship in September.”

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