Wrestling Federation of India has taken a U-turn and lifted the suspension on Vinesh Phogat which means the wrestler will be able to take part in Nationals to be started on November 15 in Indore. Along with Vinesh, the Federation also removed suspension over Praveen Rana and Ravinder Khatri.
The WFI had taken a high moral ground while suspending the famous woman freestyle wrestler for indiscipline and now just days ahead of the senior Nationals, they have repealed her suspension. It's been reliably learned that the federation took this step after the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist submitted an unconditional apology for her act of keeping the federation in dark about her injury.
Now, Vinesh, cousin of Geeta and Babita Phogat, will be able to feature in Nationals from November 15-18 where she will represent the Railways.
Apart from Vinesh, the Federation has also lifted the ban on the 74kg wrestler Praveen Rana and 66kg Greco-Roman grappler Ravinder Khatri. They both had also been suspended by the WFI for indiscipline a couple of months back and will now be able to participate in the Nationals.
The decision over Vinesh is surprising as a couple of weeks back WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh stated that Vinesh would not be allowed to participate come what may, as the wrestler was required to be taught a lesson in discipline.
"If she was injured, she should have told us beforehand. Pulling out of an international tournament - Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan - at the eleventh hour is not at all acceptable," Singh had then said as quoted by TOI.
"Not only did we fail to send a wrestler's name as the last-minute replacement, we also lost out on a possible medal opportunity in the 48kg category. Her case has been transferred to our disciplinary committee which will take a call on her future. She has been suspended and wouldn't be allowed to compete in Nationals at any cost," he had added.
That time she also stated that even her participation in the Commonwealth Championships in South Africa in December was uncertain. But a sudden change in his decision raised question over federation’s work process and fairness.