The veteran wrestler is currently under police custody.

Olympic Bronze medalist Sushil Kumar has been arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of wrestler Sagar Dhankar. He got nabbed by a special team from Delhi Police on 23rd May and is currently under police custody. The murder had reportedly taken place outside Chhattrasal Stadium in New Delhi.

Following the arrest, there is a huge buzz in the sporting world as Sushil Kumar is an icon of the sport. The 37-year-old from Baprola, Delhi is the winner of a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The grappler ended a 56-year medal drought in wrestling with this feat. He even bettered his record when he won silver at the 2012 London Olympics.

Various Indian athletes also reacted to an unfortunate set of events. Table tennis star Sharath Kamal has described this incident as “unfortunate”. On the other hand fellow Olympic medalist Vijender Singh has reminded the people of the wrestler’s contribution to the sport. Star boxer Vijender said, “What Sushil Kumar has done for Indian sports is something that can never be taken away from him.”  

What will happen to Sushil’s national awards?

Kumar’s actions have also created a situation for the country and the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). The Olympic double medalist is presently under an A grade contract and it provides him with a financial support of Rs 30 lakhs. So will he be stripped of that contract ? Vinod Tomar, the Assistant Secretary of the WFI has definitely denied those claims.

Moreover, Sushil Kumar is also the recipient of the nation’s highest honour for sportspersons, the Rajiv Gandhi Gandhi Khel Ratna award. However, after all these recent developments things may take a bad turn. The President may cancel or annul any national award honour in cases of criminal misconduct. Although there are no specific guidelines for withdrawing a national award.

Additionally, the wrestler is also the recipient of the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri. The Government of India may take the same action regarding the annulment of these awards. The criteria clearly state that the nominee should be clear from vigilance/disciplinary charges.

So what happens then? Uncertainty looms about the future of Sushil’s career and his achievements as a whole. The nation will definitely keep a close eye on the Sagar Dhankar murder case trial. But it certainly has marred the image of Indian sports before the Tokyo Olympics.

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