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Vinesh Phogat apologises to Federation, could still miss World Championships

Vinesh was suspended for not staying and training with her Indian teammates and for sporting Nike instead of the official sponsor.

Vinesh Phogat

Vinesh Phogat (United World Wrestling)



Updated: 15 Aug 2021 3:21 AM GMT

Suspended wrestler Vinesh Phogat has sent her apology to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), which had barred her from competitions on grounds of indiscipline during the Tokyo Olympics but the parent body may still not allow her to compete in the upcoming World Championship.

Vinesh, who exited from the Tokyo Games following her shock quarterfinal defeat, was suspended by the WFI for not staying and training with her Indian teammates and for sporting the name of her personal sponsor on her singlet instead of the official sponsor of the Indian contingent.

A day after her suspension, Vinesh had revealed her physical and mental struggle during the Games where she did not have the services of her personal physio. The 26-year-old on Friday replied to the notice sent to her by the WFI. "WFI has received the reply and Vinesh has apologized," a source, aware of the developments, told PTI. "But it is very much possible that despite the apology, she may not still be allowed to travel to the World Championship," the sources added.

The WFI is not pleased with the way private sports NGOs like OGQ and JSW, who sponsor many Indian athletes, are handling the Indian wrestlers as it feels they are "spoiling" them. The WFI has said that it will not allow them to interfere in the affairs of the senior wrestlers in the future. Vinesh is supported by OGQ while Bajrang Punia gets support from JSW.

It has also been learned that Sonam Malik, who has apologised for her misconduct, may also be barred from appearing in the trials for the World Championship, scheduled to be held in Norway from October 2-10. The WFI had accused Sonam (62kg) of misconduct as she sought help from SAI officials for procuring her passport from the WFI office before leaving for Tokyo. The trials are expected to be held in the last week of this month. The source also added that Divya Kakran, who was also served a notice for misconduct three months back, may also be barred from appearing in the trials. She competes in the 68kg category. The WFI will decide on the fate of the three wrestlers either on Monday or Tuesday.

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