The Commonwealth Games Council and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have approved the Table Tennis Federation of India’s (TTFI) request to include Sanil Shetty in the squad in place of the suspended Soumyajit Ghosh. The latter has been accused of rape and was subsequently suspended from the team.
The TTFI suspended Ghosh until the report in the investigation of his alleged rape case comes out, which was alleged by his ex-girlfriend. The suspension and the investigation process meant Ghosh failed to make a cut to the CWG contingent. However, TTFI was unsure about the prospects of getting a replacement for the national champion due to the strict rules of the CWG council and now, they can breathe a sigh of relief as Sanil Shetty has been allowed to replace him in Gold Coast. Sanil has already got the CWG accreditation and visa and on Saturday, he left for Gold Coast with TTFI secretary MP Singh.
“I was mentally prepared for this and I’m glad that I finally got the nod.
However, sending Sanil to the Games was not an easy way for the TTFI as earlier the IOA had shot down Sanil’s name as a replacement and following TTFI’s continued persuasion, both IOA and CWG Council allowed the replacement under “extenuating circumstances”.
“We tried hard for this and we were confident of getting a replacement. We are one of the stronger teams and have solid chances of winning medals in every category. TTFI had no other option but to suspend Soumyajit. It was an unexpected development and we deserved to get a replacement. We’re thankful to CWG Council and IOA for their continuous support,” MP Singh said.
India has sent a nine-member contingent (men & women), accompanied by head coach Massimo Costantini and other support staff members. While the team had already left for Gold Coast on Friday, Sanil will join his teammates A Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, G Sathiyan and Anthony Amalraj on Sunday. The women’s team has the likes of Manika Batra, Mouma Das, Madhurika Patkar, Pooja Sahasrabudhe and Sutirtha Mukherjee in their squad.