Sushil meets WWE representative to discuss professional plunge
New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) After conquering the best in the business in the wrestling arena, two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar could be in line to create waves in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as well.
The WWE’s head of talent and development Canyon Cemen met Sushil at the Chhatrasal Stadium here on Saturday to discuss his possible plunge into professional wrestling, confirmed Raman Raheja, head of Super Sports, the company which manages Sushil.
“There have been discussions from the past four months, but today Canyon flew down all the way from Orlando to have a face-to-face meeting with Sushil about his possible participation in the WWE,” Raheja told IANS.
“The meeting went in a positive direction but we are exploring all options available with us before finalising anything. It’s basically about Sushil’s options for his future, we are looking for what’s best for him,” he added.
Raheja, however, remained tight-lipped on the reason behind Sushil’s sudden decision to take the plunge into wrestling entertainment.
Asked if his decision was fuelled by the Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) snub for his participation in the Rio Olympics, he said: “I won’t like to get into those complexities but Sushil just wants to continue as a wrestler and if he gets into the professional arena, he will continue to represent the country.”
Sushil bagged the bronze medal in 66kg freestyle category at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, followed by a silver four years later in London.
But the category was abolished by the International Wrestling Federation (IWF) in 2014, following which he moved up to the 74kg weight category, bringing him into competition with Narsingh Yadav, who was the top Indian wrestler in this class till then.
Sushil missed the qualification tournament for the Rio Olympics due to injury, and Narsingh secured the berth for the country. WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh had said that Yadav will represent the country at the Olympics since he had secured the berth.
Sushil then approached the Delhi High Court, which also ruled in favour of Narsingh, before the Maharashtra wrestler tested positive for banned substances leading to his ban by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) merely 12 hours before his bout at Rio.
Raheja also dodged questions if Sushil’s plunge into professional wrestling meant curtains for his amateur career.
“Whether its amateur or professional, Sushil has made India proud with his feats and he will continue to represent our country even if he decides to turn pro.”
On Sushil’s participation in the Pro Wrestling League (PWL), which starts from December 15, Raheja remained non-committal.
“Its still about two months from now, I can’t comment on his participation as it is still too far,” he said.