Four Indian wrestlers handed temporary bans; Olympic hopes in jeopardy

Four Indian wrestlers handed temporary bans; Olympic hopes in jeopardy

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Babita Kumari, Geeta Phogat, Sumit and Rahul Aware have been handed temporary bans by the Wrestling Federation of India for showing “indiscipline”. The ban will extinguish their hopes of qualifying for the Olympics, and they have till May 15 to provide an explanation to the disciplinary committee.

Four of them have been handed temporary suspension and are de-barred from taking part in the next Olympic qualification event in Istanbul," Assistant secretary of WFI, Vinod Tomar, told PTI.

In the first World Qualification tournament in Mongolia, both the Phogat sisters pulled out of their matches in the last minute, citing injury. Meanwhile,Sumit, who had a chance to qualify for the Olympics, did the same in the 125kg freestyle category.

"All these wrestlers have shown indiscipline at the last tournament. Even if you want to forfeit your bout or have injury concern, there is a way and procedure to officially withdraw. But these wrestlers did not bother to follow any proper procedure. This reflects very poorly on their as well the country's part. The world body has also debarred them from the next competition.

"Sumit, in all probability, will be handed a ban because he had a chance of assuring an Olympic quota place for India in the Rio Games in 125kg category. While Babita and Geeta did not have a chance of qualifying but they should have followed the procedure even if they did not want to fight and preserve their energy for the next qualification tournament.

"Both Babita and Geeta are barred from going to Turkey. In their place, Lalita and Sakshi Malik would be taking part. Similarly, another grappler would represent India in men's 125kg category in the last qualifying event," Tomar explained.

These four wrestlers have been given a deadline of May 15 to provide an explanation for their action to the disciplinary committee of the Wrestling Federation of India. But the last Olympic qualifier is scheduled to take place at Istanbul, from May 6-8, which means these four names will miss out on the chance to book their tickets to Rio.

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