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Vinesh Sends Reply to WFI On '3 Counts of Indiscipline', Admits Mistake On One

Vinesh Phogat has apologised 'unconditionally' for not competing in the official Indian team sponsor's singlet.

Updated
Olympic Sports
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Vinesh Phogat has refused claims by WFI that she refused to train or stay with the Indian wrestling contingent/</p></div>
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Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has replied to Wrestling Federation of India's (WFI) notice where they had reprimanded her on three counts of indiscipline, following the Tokyo Olympics.

Vinesh had been suspended by Indian wrestling's governing body following their letter to the Asian and CWG gold medallist, that was sent last week.

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The WFI claimed that Vinesh refused to stay with the Indian's women's wrestling contingent at the Olympics games village and also refused to train with her contemporaries. The Indian wrestler was also pulled up for wearing a Nike wrestling singlet during her bouts, instead of wearing an official Indian kit sponsored by Shiv Naresh.

In her reply, Vinesh has refused the first two allegations but issued an apology for the third and said she 'unconditionally apologises to WFI and IOA for not being able to wear the official jersey/singlet', according to Indian Express.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>India's Vinesh Phogat in action against&nbsp; Belarus' Vanesa Kaladzinskaya Tiako during the Tokyo Olympics.</p></div>

India's Vinesh Phogat in action against  Belarus' Vanesa Kaladzinskaya Tiako during the Tokyo Olympics.

(Photo: PTI)

'Didn't Stay With Indian Wrestlers'

According to the reply sent by Vinesh's legal team, the wrestler did not stay with the Indian women's wrestling contingent at the games village for the simple reason that all sportspersons landing in Tokyo from India (and six other countries) were instructed to maintain distance from the other residents of the village till three days after their arrival.

Since Vinesh had flown in from Hungary, she did not need to serve any such quarantine and was housed with Indian track athletes Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan and Sekar Dhanalakshmi. And as she had set up camp and acclimatised to the surroundings there, Vinesh continue to stay on alongside the women from the Indian track team.

“The actions of the Athlete were genuine and well intentioned as, immediately after the rest of the wrestling contingent had undergone the quarantine period, the Athlete regularly joined the other female wrestlers for lunch and dinner every day from 31.07.2021 (post completion of quarantine period) till her stay at the Olympic Village,” Indian Express has quoted Vinesh's lawyer's reply to the WFI as having said.

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'Didn't Train With Indian Wrestlers'

Regarding the claim that Vinesh refused to train with the Indian women's wrestling contingent in Tokyo - her lawyer's reply states that during the first three days, Vinesh was maintaining distance from her contemporaries to ensure the Tokyo Olympics' quarantine protocols were followed. It also adds that after their quarantine period was over, Vinesh trained with Seems Bisla on 3 August and 4 August.

Her event was on 5 August.

Vinesh's training timing also had to be moved up as she was made to share the shooting team's physiotherapist, having not been allowed to travel with her own physio for the Olympics. The physio was only available after 9pm at night which would stretch the wrestler's day beyond what was her daily schedule, so she got the clearance from the national wrestling coach to train earlier, to get access to the physio during the day.

“The Athlete discussed and consulted with Mr. Kuldeep Malik for slight change in timings of her training. Mr. Malik showed full cooperation and permitted the Athlete to shift her training timings earlier than the scheduled timings from the Indian women wrestling contingent,” states Vinesh's lawyer's reply.

'Didn't Wear National Team Sponsor's Uniform'

Regarding the WFI's statement that Vinesh competed with her personal sponsor's logo on her wrestling singlet during her Tokyo bout, the wrestler's reply states that she 'humbly and unconditionally apologises to WFI and IOA for not being able to wear the official jersey/singlet'.

The reply sent to the WFI elaborates that it was an error 'solely attributable to the unintentional & incorrect planning' of the wrestler.

As Vinesh had revealed earlier, she struggled with depression leading up to the Tokyo games and also threw up a few times before the day of her bout, and on the day itself and in having to deal with being unwell, she didn't have a clean and washed Indian wrestling singlet available to her and thus, she had to wear another that had her personal sponsor's logo.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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