Babita ad­mits not in­form­ing WFI on her in­jury was wrong judge­ment

Mail Today - - ASIAD - By Chetan Sharma in New Delhi

FED up with their reg­u­lar ‘tantrums’ and ‘in­dis­ci­pline’, the Wrestling Fed­er­a­tion of In­dia (WFI) has dropped all four Phogat sisters from the na­tional camp for the Asian Games. Along with Geeta and Babita, Ritu and Sangeeta were also shown the door af­ter they did not re­port for the camp in Lucknow. All of them are leg­endary coach Ma­havir Phogat's daugh­ters.

An­other big name to have been barred is Satyawart Ka­dian, hus­band of Rio Olympics bronze-medal­list wrestler Sak­shi Ma­lik.

Soon af­ter the news broke, Com­mon­wealth Games silver medal­list Babita ad­mit­ted her ‘mis­take’ of not in­form­ing the fed­er­a­tion about her knee in­jury. Babita also said she is yet to re­ceive a show-cause no­tice from the WFI. “I didn’t re­ceive any­thing from the fed­er­a­tion. I haven’t joined the camp yet as I am re­cov­er­ing from in­juries to both my knees. I should have in­formed them. It was my mis­take. The fed­er­a­tion was right on their part,” she told MAIL TO­DAY.

The Haryana grap­pler, how­ever, said that her sisters Ritu and Sangeeta were wait­ing for their visas to take part in a train­ing camp in Rus­sia and the WFI knew about it. Babita also said that Geeta was in Bengaluru, train­ing at a pri­vate fa­cil­ity.

She wasn’t sure why her sis­ter hasn’t joined the camp yet. “Geeta is in Bangalore. I thought she has joined the camp. I am also go­ing to Bangalore for my re­hab,” she said. The 28-year-old wrestler hoped the WFI would be le­nient enough to let her take part in the Asiad tri­als.

Ear­lier on Thurs­day, WFI Pres­i­dent Brij Bhushan Sha­ran Singh told MAIL TO­DAY that fed­er­a­tion has al­ready in­formed all the wrestlers to fol­low the rules and reg­u­la­tions.

“In­dis­ci­pline by any wrestler, no mat­ter who, will not be tol­er­ated. It was con­veyed to each one of the grap­pler that the se­lected ath­letes for the na­tional camp are ex­pected to phys­i­cally re­port to the camp within three days. If they have any prob­lems or issues they should go there and re­port it to the coaches and find a so­lu­tion.”

“But there are play­ers like Geeta, Babita and oth­ers (in all 13) who did not do that. This is se­ri­ous in­dis­ci­pline on their part and the WFI felt it’s time to pull the plug. So, we have told them to sit at home and en­joy,” he added.

He capped it off by say­ing, “We have still given them a chance to ex­plain and let’s wait. If they can ex­plain the rea­sons be­hind their ac­tions, we will see what can be done. But for now, they are out of the na­tional camp.”

It seems that some­thing is not right with the Phogat sisters. MAIL TO­DAY had re­ported on May 15 that the WFI wasn’t happy about Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal­list Vi­nesh Phogat train­ing at Sports Author­ity of In­dia (SAI) in Lucknow with­out in­form­ing them be­fore­hand. She was ac­com­pa­nied by her per­sonal physio, trainer and masseur.

The Asian Games are sched­uled to be held in Au­gust-Septem­ber later this year in Indonesia. The men’s and women’s na­tion­als are be­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously con­ducted in Sonepat and Lucknow from May 10 to 25.

In­dis­ci­pline by any wrestler, no mat­ter who, will not be tol­er­ated. So, we have told them to sit at home and en­joy. — BRIJ BHUSHAN, WFI PRES­I­DENT

Babita Kumari (in blue), along with her Phogat sisters - Geeta, Ritu and Sangeeta - were ousted from the on­go­ing na­tional camp in Lucknow.

Satyawart Ka­dian was also barred.

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