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Vinesh Phogat Suspended By WFI For 'indiscipline' In Tokyo; Sonam Malik Served Notice

Vinesh Phogat has been suspended by the WFI for indiscipline during the Tokyo Olympics campaign and a notice of miss-conduct has also been served to Sonam Malik

Vinesh Phogat/Sonam Malik

Image Credits: PTI / Twitter


In a breaking development, India's star wrestler Vinesh Phogat has been temporarily suspended by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). As per PTI, Vinesh Phogat has been suspended by the WFI for indiscipline during the Tokyo Olympics campaign and a notice of misconduct has also been served to wrestler Sonam Malik. As per the report, Vinesh Phogat has been charged with three counts of misconduct and has been given time till August 16 to reply to the notice.

Vinesh Phogat 'temporarily suspended' 

Vinesh Phogat who had travelled to Tokyo from Hungary where she had trained with coach Woller Akos, had allegedly refused to stay at the Games Village and train with the other Indian team members. She also did not wear the name of the official sponsors of the Indian contingent, Shiv Naresh, and chose to wear a Nike singlet during her bouts. 

"This is gross indiscipline. She has been suspended temporarily and barred from all wrestling activities. She can't compete in any national or other domestic event until she files a reply and WFI takes a final decision,. WFI was pulled up by IOA why can't they control their athletes. IOA is issuing a notice to WFI in this regard," a WFI source told PTI. 

The officials who were in Tokyo told PTI that Vinesh 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 COVID since these wrestlers travelled to Tokyo from India.

"She did not train with any of the Indian wrestlers. It appeared as if she had come with the Hungary team and had nothing to do with the Indian contingent. One day her timing clashed with the training timings of the Indian girls and she chose not to train at the same arena with them. This is not acceptable. This is not how senior wrestlers are supposed to behave," the official added as reported by PTI. 

Apart from Vinesh Phogat, wrestler Sonam Malik has also been served with notice. As per PTI, the 19-year old Sonam has been given a notice for misconduct.

"These kids think, they have become star wrestlers and are entitled to do anything. Before leaving for Tokyo either Sonam or her family are supposed to collect their passport from the WFI office. But she ordered SAI officials to collect on her behalf. This is not acceptable. They have achieved nothing and are showing attitude. This will not be accepted," the official added.

Sonam also returned without a medal from her debut Olympics. 

Vinesh Phogat at Tokyo Olympics

The wrestler tried her level best to keep her opponent pinned down on the mat and find a place in the semi-finals but the double world champion was way too strong for her and the final scoreline read in the favor of Vanesa Kaladzinskaya 9-3. Vanesa, the reigning European champion, executed her strategy perfectly as Vinesh could not find a way to wriggle out of Vanesa's headlocks. 

Even when Vinesh got behind Vanesa, she could not push her down on the knees from a favourable position with the Belarusian showing immense strength to keep her legs straight. Vinesh used all her might but Vanesa's defence would not crumble. Even the famous double-leg attack that Vinesh has used to get herself into position to pin her rivals, did not result in points.

Before this bout, Vinesh had knocked out Rio Olympics bronze-winner and six-time world medallist Sofia Mattsson with a commanding 7-1 win. Vinesh had beaten the Swede at the 2019 World Championship as well. Every time Mattsson initiated a right-leg attack, Vinesh produced a splendid counter to score points.

(Image Credits: PTI)

(With Inputs: PTI)

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