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Hockey India upholds Gurbaj Singh ban, player to move court

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Hockey India decided to uphold the nine-month ban imposed on midfielder Gurbaj Singh, after they found his appeal and explanation unsatisfactory. The decision virtually renders him unavailable for the Rio Olympics next year, as his ban will be lifted only in May 2016. The Games will be held in August. Gurbaj said he has decided to take Hockey India to court, insisting the charges against him are baseless. Former India assistant coach Jude Felix had submitted a report to Hockey India in which he accused Gurbaj of misbehaving with the support staff and creating rift within the team.Gurbaj was subsequently banned for nine months by Hockey India’s disciplinary committee, and gave him an option to appeal. Hockey India decided to hear the matter on Friday, a day after Hockey India League players’ auction. However, the committee, which included president Narinder Batra, CEO Elena Norman, Harbinder Singh and RP Singh, was not convinced of Gurbaj’s clarification and counter-argument. “Jude has given us a written report against Gurbaj in which he has substantiated his claims. Gurbaj’s past record too did not help his case,” an official said. Gurbaj, meanwhile, said he will drag the parent body to court. “These charges are all baseless. The allegations against me are pre-planned and there is no truth in whatever is being said. I will go to the court as I know I have done nothing wrong,” Gurbaj said. Gurbaj has already served a month and a half of the ban. He will not be a part of the next HIL season as well as Hockey World League (HWL) finals in November/December this year.

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