Banned from Commonwealth Games selection trials, judoka threatens to take own life

Jatin also accused a few coaches in his letter, wherein he threatened to take his own life.
For representational purposes (Photo | AP)
For representational purposes (Photo | AP)

CHENNAI: The selection trials to pick up male judokas for the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Birmingham have plunged into controversy with one of the athletes, who was barred from competing in them, threatening to take their own life on Tuesday.

The trials to select the men's team in three weight categories are scheduled in Patiala on Wednesday and Thursday. The trials for women athletes were held in New Delhi on Monday and Tuesday. "I was banned by the Judo Federation of India for two years but the same was revoked by its president Partap Singh Bajwa. Then how can they debar me from competing in the trials? I met Cawas Billimoria, chairman of the selection committee appointed by the SAI, but to no avail. Given the situation I am left with no option but to take my own life," Jatin, the Haryana judoka in question, told The New Indian Express from Patiala.

JFI, which has been now derecognised, had sent the names of four athletes (3 weight divisions in men and women sections) in each category to the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee in March this year. Besides, trials were held in the women's 78kg class as well because the organisers have indicated that they may accommodate India’s request to allow an extra competitor.

Jatin claimed that his name is there among four selected judokas in 60kg. Speaking of the action that led to the ban, he said, "We competed in the Olbia Junior World Championships held in Italy in October last year. There I along with another Indian judoka mistakenly knocked on the door of a female athlete from the USA. We apologised also and after that, I competed in Cadet Nationals and won gold. I also competed in Cadet and Junior Asian Championships."

However, secretary general of the now derecognised JFI Man Mohan Jaiswal claimed that the ban was imposed on two judokas and three coaches to ensure the International Judo Federation (IJF) does not sanction JFI.

"After I was reinstated earlier this year, I received emails and calls from the IJF seeking disciplinary action the body has taken against these two judokas and coaches who accompanied them to Italy. I issued notices to the parties concerned and even took everybody in confidence and followed all due process before imposing the ban as we were given a deadline to take the necessary action by the international body. The ban was later revoked by the president and Jatin is making his claim to compete on the same ground. However, it should be understood that the IJF has already blocked registration of those banned by them and even if they manage to win trials, they wouldn't be allowed to compete in the CWG," said Jaiswal.

When contacted, Billimoria said he can't speak on the issue as the ban was imposed when the committee was not in existence. Jatin also accused a few coaches in his letter, wherein he threatened to take his own life.

One of them, Jiwan Sharma, the national coach, was surprised to find his name in the letter. "I never trained that judoka. Besides, I am not there in the selection committee. I don't know how my name came in that letter," he said.

India has entered women judokas in 48kg, 57kg and 63kg categories and men judokas in 60 kg, 66 kg and 100 kg categories in the CWG slated from July 28 to August 8 this year.

(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 available 24x7 or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm)

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