Wrestling maestro Sushil Kumar issued notice by WFI

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) dispensed a formal notice to two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar as a part of its investigation procedures into the brawl that ensued at the Commonwealth Games selection trials last week, a senior official said on Thursday.

Within three days, Sushil has been instructed to explain the actions of his supporters and respond to the charges leveled against him by Parveen Rana, his challenger in the 74kg freestyle weight class. In a written complaint to the WFI earlier this week, Rana accused Sushil and his supporters of beating up him and his brother Naveen. At the same time, Rana alleged ‘fraud’ was committed in the bout while also alleging ‘biased’ scoring. He attributed this to the referees feeling pressurized from Sushil’s corner.

Sushil defeated Rana 7-3 in the bout before beating another wrestler, Jitender, to secure his place in the CWG-bound squad. However, moments post the final bout, Rana alleged he and Naveen were beaten up by a group of men who he identified as Sushil’s supporters. The brothers subsequently lodged a police complaint against Sushil and six others from the Chhtrasal Stadium, where they all trained together before Rana relocated to Sonepat.

WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar said that no action is being planned against Sushil as of now.  The issue will be referred to WFI’s disciplinary committee, who is also likely to review the bout under the supervision of United World Wrestling jury member and referee Ashok Kumar Bhanwala.

“The bout might be reviewed because Rana has alleged fraud. However, all our officials were present on the day of the trials and there was nothing wrong technically,” Tomar said.

Rana and Sushil are India’s two main contenders in the 74kg category. Now, the healthy competition between the two has turned into a bloody rivalry over the last year since Rana left Chhatrasal to train independently.

During the national championships, Rana gave Sushil a walkover in the final. A month later, they faced each other at the Commonwealth Championships in Johannesburg, where Sushil won 5-4. Another noteworthy incident was during the hotly-contested bout for a spot in the CWG squad, Sushil accused Rana of biting him.

Sources – Indian Express, The Tribune