Vinesh accuses WFI chief of trying to end her Olympic dream; federation denies charge

New Delhi, Apr 12 (PTI) Wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Friday accused the WFI of trying to stop her from competing in the Olympic Qualifiers by creating logistical hurdles for her support staff, a charge vehemently denied by the federation which claimed that she applied after the deadline to send entries had expired.

The 29-year-old Phogat, who won 53kg bronze medals in the 2019 and 2022 World Championships besides a gold in the 2018 Asian Games (in 50kg), also said she is fearful of being trapped in a doping case.

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) said Phogat’s request mail (for accreditation of her coach and physio) came on March 18 but by then it had already sent the entries of the players, coaches and medical staff to the world governing body UWW as the registration dedaline was March 11. A WFI official said the federation sent the entries around March 15 after UWW relaxed the deadline a bit on its request because the trials were completed only on the last day of the deadline.

Phogat is eyeing an Olympic quota in the 50kg category in the Asian qualifying tournament next week in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

At the selection trials in Patiala, she had also competed in the 53kg category after the authorities allowed her but lost in the semifinals.

“Brij Bhushan and his dummy Sanjay Singh are trying in every way to stop me from playing in the Olympics. All the coaches who have been appointed with the team are the favourites of Brij Bhushan and his team, so it cannot be denied that they may mix something in my water and make me drink it during my match?” Phogat said in lengthy post on his ‘X’ page.

“If I say that there could be a conspiracy to trap me in doping, then it will not be wrong.” Phogat alleged that her personal coach and physio were being denied accreditation for the Asian Olympic qualifying tournament starting April 19.

“For the past one month, I have been requesting the Government of India (SAI, TOPS) for the accreditation of my coach and physio. Without accreditation, it is not possible for my coach and physio to accompany me to the competition arena,” she said.

“But despite repeated requests, I am not getting any concrete answer from anywhere. No one is ready to help. Will the future of players always be played with like this? “No stone is being left unturned to mentally harass us. How far is it justified to torture us like this before such an important competition?” she asked.

Making the Federation’s stand clear, a WFI official, who did not wish to be named, told

Source: PTI News


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