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Indiscipline: Wrestling Federation suspends Indian wrestler after Tokyo Olympics campaign

After returning from Japan, the Wrestling Federation of India temporarily suspended Vinesh Phogat. In Vinesh’s case, the WFI cited indiscipline during the games, as the star wrestler refused to train with the rest of the athletes in the Olympic village. At the Olympics, she also did not wear the name of the official kit sponsors of Team India.

It has been learned that Vinesh, who crashed out of the Tokyo Olympics in the quarterfinals following a crushing defeat by fall, has been given up until August 16 to reply to the notice mentioning three counts of indiscipline. The WFI is considering a long ban if the response is not satisfactory. In addition, the WFI has also handed out a notice of misconduct to Sonam Malik.

After coming to Tokyo from Hungary where she trained with coach Woller Akos, Vinesh refused to train with the other Indian team members on the same floor. Vinesh requested a room on a different floor. Neither did she train with the other wrestlers nor did she stay with them for a single day. Vinesh Phogat trained with Woller Akos’s wife, and the WFI president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, recognized something was amiss when she refused to train with the other Indian wrestlers.

Moreover, Vinesh did not wear the name of the official sponsors of the Indian contingent, Shiv Naresh and wore a Nike singlet instead. Vinesh lost in the quarter-finals of the Women’s 53kg Freestyle event at the Tokyo Olympics. It was expected a lot of the star wrestler, but she failed to even qualify for the medal rounds. ‘WFI viewed this as gross indiscipline and suspended her temporarily from all wrestling activities. She’s not allowed to compete at any national or domestic events until her appeal is resolved and the WFI makes its final ruling, according to a WFI source. IOA is sending a notice to WFI in this regard,’ the source said, adding, ‘WFI was pulled up by IOA because they cannot control their athletes’.

Officials in Tokyo said Vinesh had caused a ruckus when she was assigned to the same room as her Indian teammates Sonam, Anshu Malik and Seema Bisla, arguing that she might contract Coronavirus since these wrestlers traveled to Tokyo from India. Vinesh entered the Games as a medal contender but fell to Vanesa of Belarus.

Read more: ‘Bat Woman’ warns of future COVID variants

Sonam Malik too receives a misconduct notice

A misconduct notice has been issued to  Sonam Malik, who is 19 years old. It was reported that Sonam had ordered India’s Sports Authority of India to pick up her passport before she left for the Tokyo Olympics. Either the wrestler or his/her family is responsible to collect passports but Sonam has been suspended for her ‘unacceptable behaviour’. Sonam returned from her debut Olympics without a medal as well.


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