Wrestler Vinesh Phogat ‘temporarily suspended’ for indiscipline at Tokyo Olympics


In a shocking development, the Wrestling Federation of India has decided to ‘temporarily suspended’ Olympian wrestler Vinesh Phogat for indiscipline during the just-concluded Tokyo Olympic Games. The national wrestling body has also served notice to another wrestler Sonam Malik for alleged misconduct.

Phogat, who had suffered a crushing defeat in the Olympic quarter-final at the hands of Vanesa Kaladzinskaya of Belarus has been given time till 16 August to respond to the WFI’s notice. The star wrestler has been accused of indiscipline on three counts.

It’s alleged that that Phogat, who arrived in Tokyo directly from Hungary, had refused to stay at the Olympic Village and train with other members of the Indian contingent. She also allegedly refused to wear the name of the official sponsor of the Indian team and, instead, wore a Nike singlet during her match.

Last month, Vinesh had taken to Twitter to express her disgust on not being allowed to travel with a personal physiotherapist to the Olympic Games. She had tweeted, “Is it a crime to ask for one Physiotherapist for four women wrestlers when there are instances of one athlete having multiple coaches/ Staff? Where is the balance? We have asked for a Physio long back and not at the last moment as reported.”

Phogat had tagged the Prime Minister’s Office, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and the Indian Olympic Association in her tweet.

Phogat will not be allowed to take part in domestic and national events she files her reply and a final decision is taken by the WFI.

A report by news agency PTI said that Phogat ‘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.’