The Wrestling Federation of India has barred 10 women wrestlers from competiting in the trials for the upcoming Asian Championship, on the grounds of indiscipline. The wrestlers in question did not report for the national camp in Lucknow, or left in two days making excuses, as per a report.
While the championships is scheduled to take place in Mongolia from April 19-24, the trials for the women wrestlers are supposed to take place on Friday at the SAI Centre in Lucknow. The wrestlers who have been barred from the trials are -- Honey Kumari (50kg), Ankush (53kg), Anju (55kg), Raman (55kg), Geeta (59kg), Bhateri (65kg), Priyanka (65kg), Naina (68kg) and Pooja (76kg).
Bhateri, Anju and Honey reached out to the federation, to be able to take part in the trails, but their request was turned down. This means that, there isn't enough competition left for Sakshi Malik in the 65kg category, and it will be easier for her to sail through.
"We will ask for an explanation from the wrestlers why are they not taking national camp seriously. Missing out on a chance to compete in a tournament like Asian Championship will certainly teach them a lesson," WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh told PTI on the sidelines of the men's trials. "Our second line is pretty strong, so we can take these tough steps to ensure discipline at the national camp. We don't want to hurt chances of good wrestlers but they need to understand that they can't take things for granted," he added.
Moreover, teh federation believes that the personal coaches of these wrestlers are to be blamed for the mess. "They train them and that's good but once camp starts, wrestlers should not miss that unless the federation has permitted them for a valid reason. The coaches tell wrestlers that they can train them better at their personal centres and at the camp they risk exposing their games.
"Also, maybe they want to avoid scrutiny at the camp. The doping officials can come anytime there but at personal centres (akhaadas), who is going to check if the wrestlers are taking a clean diet," said the WFI chief.
The WFI has a reason to be worried as well. Since 2016, four Indian wrestlers have been caught for doping. "We have paid 80,000 Swiss Francs (close to 65 lakh) as penalty in last few years for no fault of ours. So we want our wrestlers to train at camp so that the wrestlers do not even think of taking any banned substance," said Singh.