World’s Number One Wrestler Handed Suspension After Gross Indiscipline at Tokyo Olympics

Published 08/10/2021, 2:45 PM EDT


Vinesh Phogat arrived in Tokyo as a medal favorite in the women’s 53kg wrestling category. She not only carried the tag of top seed, but the top-ranked wrestler to take part in the category at the Tokyo Olympics.

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However, the 26-year-old suffered a shock exit in the quarterfinal stages of the tournament. Earlier today, she received more misery in the aftermath of the Games as the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) handed a temporary suspension to Phogat.

Vinesh Phogat served temporary suspension by the WFI for “gross indiscipline”

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Phogat won a gold medal in women’s 50kg freestyle wrestling at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which began her rise to the top. Prior to the Tokyo Olympics, she won a gold medal in women’s 53kg freestyle wrestling at the 2021 Asian Championships held in Almaty and clinched the #1 spot in the world rankings.

Earlier today, the WFI issued a temporary suspension to the 26-year-old for her actions during the Games. She arrived in Tokyo from Hungary with her foreign coach, Woller Akos prior to the Olympics. Hence, she refused to train with members of the Indian team, who travelled from India itself.

In addition, she also refused to wear a kit containing the sponsors of the Indian team, Shiv-Naresh, on it. A source from the WFI called her actions an example of gross indiscipline.

The source said, “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.”

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Indian officials who went to Tokyo criticised her behaviour

An official who witnessed Phogat’s behaviour in Tokyo admitted she set a poor example for senior wrestlers. In addition, he also admitted it appeared she didn’t arrive in Tokyo as part of the Indian contingent at all.

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The official said, “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.”

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Along with Phogat, 19-year-old Sonam Malik received a notice for misconduct during the Games.

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Sanket Nair

624 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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