WFI suspends Vinesh Phogat, issues notice to Sonam Malik for misconduct
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has temporarily suspended ace grappler Vinesh Phogat for indiscipline during the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics. Reports suggest that Vinesh has been given time till August 16 to reply to the notice that mentioned indiscipline on three counts. The Indian wrestler had a horrid outing in Tokyo as she crashed out of the quarterfinal after being defeated by a fall.
Phogat, who flew to Tokyo directly from Hungary where she was training, refused to stay at the Games Village and train with the other Indian team members. Furthermore, she 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.
“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 PTI. “WFI was pulled up by IOA why can’t they control their athletes. IOA is issuing a notice to WFI in this regard.“
Notice issued to Sonam Malik as WFI awaits Vinesh Phogat’s reply
Vinesh created much nuisance in Tokyo as she refused to train with other female wrestlers of the contingent, Sonam Malik, Anshu Malik and Seema Bisla. The Rio Olympics quarterfinalist claimed that she might contract the COVID-19 virus from her fellow wrestlers as they flew in from India. Vinesh entered the event as a top medal favourite but returned empty-handed.
“She did not train with any of the Indian wrestlers. It appeared as if she had come with the Hungary team and had nothing to do with the Indian contingent. One day her timing clashed with the training timings of the Indian girls and she chose not to train at the same arena with them,” the official added. “This is not acceptable. This is not how senior wrestlers are supposed to behave.“
18-year-old Sonam, who made her Olympic debut in Tokyo, has been served a notice for misconduct. According to sources, the teen wrestler or her family was supposed to collect her passport from the WFI office ahead of the Olympic Games. Instead, she had an SAI official fetch it for her, which has been deemed unacceptable by the governing body.
While the Indian wrestling contingent returned with two medals from the Tokyo Olympics, none of the female wrestlers made it past the quarterfinal. Much was expected from Vinesh who utterly disappointed the Indian fans with her dismal showing.