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IOA ad-hoc panel rejects National Games wrestling entries, sent by recognised Rajasthan state body

New Delhi: There is no end to controversies in Indian wrestling with IOA ad-hoc committee, led by Bhupender Singh Bajwa, rejecting the entries sent by the Rajasthan State Wrestling Association for the Goa National Games after asking the same state body to conduct selection trials.

The matter has now reached the Delhi High Court, which has sought a clarification from the Rajasthan High Court before passing an order.

The IOA ad-hoc panel, which is still running the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), had sent a circular on September 29 and then issued a revised a circular on October 5 regarding the selection criteria for the wrestlers.

The circular e-mail was marked to IOA, National Games Technical Conduct Committee (GTCC) also had Ummed Singh-led Rajasthan State Wrestling Association, which has been recognised by the Rajasthan Olympic Association, in the mailing list.

“After getting the circular from IOA, we conducted the trials on October 10. The selected wrestlers have even made their travel arrangements. What do we tell the wrestlers now,” Ummed Singh told PTI.

“If the IOA ad-hoc panel was not to accept entries from us, it should not have asked us to conduct trials. Why did it ask us in first place,” a peeved Singh added.

The wrestling competition at the National Games will begin on November 1.

“It just shows that the hooliganism continues in ad-hoc panel. They have utter disregard for rules and elected bodies. They had conducted the Asian Games trials also as per their wish, not listening to anyone,” said a former WFI official.

When PTI contacted Bajwa for a comment, he said, ‘Please see the High Court order, you will understand why we have done this.’ It may be mentioned that Ummed Singh-led state body was deemed valid by the IOA-appointed returning officer Justice MM Kumar for the participation in the WFI elections which are on hold due to litigation.

The rival faction’s General secretary Bhupender Singh had on August 10 moved the Jaipur bench of the Rajasthan High Court challenging a couple of decisions, including by the Returning Officer and one by Rajasthan Sports Ministry on July 12.

The High Court, in its order on August 11, had stayed the Sports Ministry’s decision but there is no clarity on IOA Returning Officer’s decision.

‘The Delhi High Court has asked for clarity from Rajasthan High Court if the stay was also given on Returning Officer’s order because it hasn’t been mentioned in the Jaipur Bench’s order. The courts will open only on Monday and we have to wait till then. We have no option,’ said Ummed Singh.

‘We are recognised by Rajasthan Olympic Association and this recognition is a pre-requisite to become a state body. I want to ask the IOA ad-hoc panel if the association from which they have accepted the entries, if that association has recognition from the state Olympic body?

“If not, then on what basis they have accepted the entries,” he questioned.

(Published 27 October 2023, 15:46 IST)

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