Vinesh Phogat suspended: The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has suspended star grappler Vinesh Phogat Fogat from all wrestling activities for ‘gross discipline’ during the Tokyo Olympic Games. Vinesh, who lost in the quarterfinals in the 53kg freestyle category in Tokyo, was given notice of the matter and given until August 16 to respond.
Vinesh Phogat will not be competing in any event until she files her reply and makes a final decision. The WFI Disciplinary Committee will take up the matter and decide on the next course of action.
The notice indicates three undisciplined items:
1) Vinesh Phogat refused to share a single floor with the Indian wrestling team for fear of being exposed to Kovid-19 at the Tokyo Olympics. She argued that because other wrestlers traveled directly from India, she was at risk for the Kovid-19.
2) She refused to clash with Indian wrestlers during training in Tokyo.
3) Finally, the 2019 World Championship bronze medalist European champion Belarusian Vanessa Kaladjinskaya wore an unauthorized single out, without losing in the quarterfinals.
“She has been suspended. The allegations are serious and we as a federation cannot tolerate it,” WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh told The Tribune on Tuesday.
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“She will be given time to explain and once that happens, we will hand over the matter to the disciplinary committee,” he said.
The WFI has issued a notice to Sonam Malik, who competed in the 62 kg class in Tokyo, for ‘abuse’, although she is likely to be relieved.
Singh told The Tribune last Friday that a number of sports NGOs supporting various athletes, including the Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) and the JSW – and the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), had ‘corrupted’ the athletes.
Singh said WFI did not know what both OGQ-backed Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Poonia with JSW were doing in practice while undergoing lengthy training abroad.