New Delhi: Olympic-bound grappler Amit Kumar has been forced to pull out of the Hari Ram Indian Grand Prix wrestling after being diagnosed with chicken pox while Beijing Games bronze medallist Sushil Kumar still remains a doubtful starter for the inaugural edition of the event, commencing on Friday.

Chief national coach Vinod Kumar informed that Amit has contracted the highly contagious disease and will sit out of the tournament, which will witness 300 grapplers from more than 20 nations in action at the city's Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.

"Amit was feeling unwell last night and woke up with chicken pox spots in his body this morning. He had spots all over the body. He will not be participating in the tournament as it's an infectious disease," Kumar said.

"The tournament will serve as a good competition before the London Games but we can't take any chances with the health of our medal hopeful. We don't know how he got it but he has just accepted it. Amit will soon return to the ring," the coach added.

Amit had qualified for the London Games after clinching gold in the 55kg category at an Asian qualification tournament in Astana, Kazakhstan in March.

Talking about Sushil, who has a slight niggle in his right knee, Kumar said that a decision on his participation would be taken on Friday before his opening bout on Saturday.

"We will take a call on his participation tomorrow. He is still recovering from the injury. His first bout is on Saturday and that gives us some time to decide. We will take a call keeping in mind the London Olympics as we don't want to rush his return," Kumar said.

The 28-year-old wrestler injured his right knee during the World qualifying event held in Taiyuan, China. Sushil (66kg) picked up the injury in the semifinal bout against Ukraine's Andriy Kvyatkovskyy.

In the absence of Amit and Sushil, other two Olympic-bound wrestlers, Yogeshwar Dutt and Narsingh Yadav would be spearheading the Indian challenge in the men's event.

The three-day tournament, which boasts of a galaxy of Olympians, Asian and European Games medal winners, will be an ideal ground for the Olympic-bound Indian wrestlers to hone their skills ahead of the marquee event.

(Agencies)

Latest News from Sports News Desk