WFI suspends star wrestler Vinesh Phogat over indiscipline after Tokyo Olympics campaign

WFI suspends star wrestler Vinesh Phogat over indiscipline after Tokyo Olympics campaign
Vinesh Phogat crashed out in the Women's 53kg quarter-final at Tokyo 2020 (PTI Photo)

The Wrestling Federation of India suspended Vinesh Phogat after the Tokyo Olympics campaign. The star wrestler had refused to train with the rest of the team at the Games Village and she did not wear the name of the official kit sponsor at the Olympics.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Vinesh Phogat had refused to stay with other athletes at the Games Village in Tokyo 2020
  • Vinesh did not train with fellow wrestlers after arriving from Hungary
  • She also did not wear the name of the official sponsors of the Indian contingent at Olympics

The Wrestling Federation of India temporarily suspended Vinesh Phogat on Tuesday following her return from Tokyo Olympics campaign. The WFI cited indiscipline from Vinesh at the Games as the star wrestler is believed to have refused to train with the rest of the athletes at the Olympics Village. She also did not wear the name of the official kit sponsors of Team India at the Olympics.

It has been learnt that Vinesh, who crashed out of the Tokyo Games in the quarterfinals after a crushing defeat by ‘fall’, has been given time till August 16 to reply to the notice that mentioned indiscipline on three counts. If the response is not satisfactory, the WFI is considering a long ban.

Meanwhile, the WFI also issued notice to young wrestler, Sonam Malik for misconduct.

Vinesh, who had travelled to Tokyo from Hungary where she had trained with coach Woller Akos, had refused to stay at the same floor of the Games Village and train with the other Indian team members. Vinesh wanted a room on a different floor. She did not stay for a single day with the other wrestlers nor trained with them, India Today has learnt.

Vinesh Phogat trained with Woller Akos’s wife and the WFI president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, was able to sense something was wrong when she refused to train with the other Indian wrestlers in Tokyo.

Vinesh also did not wear the name of the official sponsors of the Indian contingent, Shiv Naresh, and chose to wear a Nike singlet during her bouts.

Vinesh crashed out in the quarter-final bout of the Women’s 53kg Freestyle event at the Tokyo Olympics. A lot was expected of the star wrestler but she lost without even reaching the medal rounds at the Gams.

“This is gross indiscipline. She has been suspended temporarily and barred from all wrestling activities. She can’t compete in any national or other domestic events until she files a reply and WFI takes a final decision,” a WFI source told the Press Trust of India.

“WFI was pulled up by IOA why can’t they control their athletes. IOA is issuing a notice to WFI in this regard,” the source added.

‘Vinesh Phogat did not train with any of the Indian wrestlers’

The officials who were in Tokyo said that Vinesh had created ruckus when she was allotted a room near those of her Indian team-mates — Sonam, Anshu Malik and Seema Bisla — arguing that she might contract coronavirus since these wrestlers travelled to Tokyo from India, according to PTI.

Vinesh had entered the Games as a top medal contender but ended up suffering defeat by fall against Belarus’ Vanesa.

Sonam Malik receives notice for misconduct

The 19-year old Sonam has been given a notice for misconduct. The news agency said Sonam had ordered Sports Authority of India officials to collect her passport from the WFI office before leaving for the Tokyo Olympics. Either the wrestler or his/her family is supposed to collect passports but Sonam has been penalised for her ‘unacceptable behaviour’.

Sonam also returned without a medal from her debut Olympics.