The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has suspended eight women wrestlers for disciplinary reasons and for missing the national camp that was held in Lucknow. Sheetal Tomar, national champion in the 50 kg weight division, was one of the eight to be suspended as well.
The other women grapplers who will have to sit out for a year include Ankush (53 kg), Raunak (64 kg), Suman (68 kg) – all from Haryana, Delhi’s Bunty (55 kg) and Sushma Shaukeen (57 kg), Tomar from Rajasthan, Maharashtra’s Reshma Mane (69 kg) and Nikki, who competes in the 76 kg and is from Railways.
Speaking exclusively to The Bridge, the WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar shed light on the matter and said, “The eight women players flouted the rules of the camp by being present only for the trials, and not for the practice sessions. After the trials were over, they left without seeking any permission. This type of indiscipline will not be tolerated. We have, thus, decided to ban them for a year.”
On being asked about the future of the athletes, Tomar added, “The wrestlers will get a chance to defend themselves and give a reason for breaking the rules of the national camp. If the WFI believes that they were justified in behaving as they did, we will look into the matter again.”
In the past, the WFI has adopted a thoroughly strict attitude towards the players who have been seen breaking the codes of conduct. The latest move, then, to ban the wrestlers, irrespective of their achievements, shows how intolerant the federation is towards indiscipline. If sports in India has to achieve greater heights, the nonchalance behaviour from star players and youngsters needs to be nipped in the bud, and it is heartening to see federations not hesitate in drawing a line.
Recently, the Rowing Federation of India (RFI) had banned Dattu Bhokanal, an Olympian who turned out in the 2016 Rio Games, for disciplinary reasons as well.