Paddler Soumyajit's CWG participation doubtful after rape allegations

An 18-year-old girl lodged an FIR in Barasat, West Bengal, accusing the youngest national champion of grave charges.

Soumyajit Ghosh represented India at the London Olympics in 2012.   -  R.V. Moorthy

Olympian Soumyajit Ghosh's Commonwealth Games participation is in serious doubt after a police complaint has been lodged against the paddler for allegedly raping a teenager on a false promise of marrying her.

An 18-year-old girl lodged an FIR in Barasat, West Bengal on Wednesday, accusing the youngest national champion of grave charges. Since Ghosh, the World No. 58, has already been included in India's table tennis squad for the next month's Commonwealth Games, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has called an emergency meeting to decide Ghosh's fate.

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"We got to know about the episode through news reports in the morning. We have managed to acquire a copy of the FIR. Since these are very serious charges, the TTFI has convened an emergency meeting of the executive board on Sunday. We will take an appropriate call in 48 hours," M.P. Singh, TTFI secretary-general, told Sportstar on Thursday.

"My personal opinion is since the allegations are so grave, Ghosh should be suspended with immediate effect. If the investigation clears him of any wrongdoing, he can return to the fold immediately."

At the moment, Ghosh, along with other top Indian paddlers, is competing in the ITTF German Open. The Indian paddlers are supposed to return home on March 25. The 10 CWG squad members are scheduled to undergo a pre-tournament dope test on March 27 before the squad departs to Gold Coast the next day.

Ghosh represented India at the Olympics in 2012 as a 20-year-old. Despite not living up to his billing on the recently-concluded domestic circuit, he was selected in the CWG squad due to his high world ranking.

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