On Wednesday, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) took severe steps against the country’s top grapplers for their absence in the national camp. The federation has decided to axe 15 wrestlers including all four Phogat sisters – Geeta, Babita, Sangeeta and Ritu – for breach of discipline.
“As you know, the camp started on 10th May. But these wrestlers did not report to camp. Neither did they intimate us why they were not joining the camp,” Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary of WFI. “How can we tolerate this?” he asked.
“The problem which arises due to this is that the partners suffer. Each wrestler has a sparring partner with whom he or she trains. Now, when one of the partners does not show up, the other suffers. We can’t let that happen. That’s why we took this decision yesterday (Wednesday),” Tomar said.
Here’s the list of wrestlers dropped from the national camp:
- Ritu Phogat (50kg)
- Indu Choudhary (50kg)
- Sangeeta Phogat (57kg)
- Geeta Phogat (59kg)
- Ravita (59kg)
- Pooja Tomar (62kg)
- Manu (62kg)
- Nandini Salokhe (62kg)
- Reshma Mane (62kg)
- Anju (65kg)
- Manu Tomar (72kg)
- Kamini (72kg)
- Babita Phogat (53kg)
- Shravan (61kg)
- Satyawart Kadian (97kg)
“If you see, 13 of these wrestlers are female. We are struggling to ensure enough sparring partners at the women’s camp and they decide to take things so lightly. So, we have decided to remove them, their replacements will be named in the coming days,” Tomar further explained.
When asked if these wrestlers will be allowed to take part in the trials for the Asian Games, Tomar said, “We will have to wait and see about that. But according to the federation’s policy, if you are not in the camp, you can’t appear in the trials.”
The male wrestlers are currently training at the SAI centre in Sonepat while the female wrestlers are in Lucknow. Both the camps began on May 10 and will run up to June 25, concluding with the trials for the Asian Games.
Interestingly, two of India’s top wrestlers, Sushil Kumar and Sakshi Malik, are also absent from the national camp. However, it has been learnt that both of them took prior permission for not attending the camp and that’s why they have not been axed.