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The Battle For Olympic Selection And Coaches Conflict Of Interest -  Manika Batra Vs TTFI

Table Tennis
Friday, 25 August 2023 By Vidushpat Singhania, Kushagra Jain

Manika Batra (“Manika”) is a top 50 ranked international table tennis player from India. She has been the torchbearer of the resurrection of interest in table tennis in India. As a Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Awardee in 2020, the 28-year-old has won several gold medals in the Commonwealth Games 2018 and is an idol for young athletes of India.

However, due to being pressured by the then national team coach, Mr. Soumyadeep Roy (“Mr. Roy”), to manipulate a match in an Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament[1], she refused his courtside assistance at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. This refusal led to a decision by the Table Tennis Federation of India (“TTFI”), prohibiting her to participate  at the Asian Table Tennis Championship, 2021. To challenge this decision, she approached the Honourable High Court of Delhi (“Court”) for relief requesting for her inclusion into the team on her merit.

The Court appointed an independent inquiry committee to look into the match manipulation allegations made by Manika[2]. The inquiry committee found that Mr. Roy did demand Manika manipulate a match in favour of Mr. Roy’s private student. Basis these findings, the Court suspended the TTFI Executive Committee and appointed a Committee of Administrators to run the TTFI until conclusion of the inquiry.

This Article examines:

The authors represented Manika in this matter.

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Written by

Vidushpat Singhania

Vidushpat Singhania

Vidushpat is the managing partner at Krida Legal and is an advocate registered with the Delhi Bar Council. He is a member of the Election Oversight Panel of World Athletics (IAAF). He has been a member of the Independent Appeals Committee of World Sailing.

Vidushpat advises on issues pertaining to esports, new age investing (e.g Digital Currencies and NFT’s), betting and gambling laws, league formulation and rights structuring, government policies, TV and broadcasting rights, sponsorship and merchandizing contracts, tendering procedure, anti-doping, ticketing, venue hire and brand protection. He has also advised on M&A in the sports and gaming sector.

Kushagra Jain

Kushagra is a senior associate at Krida Legal with diversified and specialised experience in the field of Sports Law and Sports Management. He holds an LLM Degree from the Real Madrid Graduate School in Madrid, Spain, wherein he completed a Masters in Law (LLM) in International Sports Law.

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