With the Asian Games participation in limbo after the Wrestling Federation of India’s sanctions for missing national camps, the Phogat sisters have cited injuries as the reason for their no-shows.
On Wednesday, the WFI barred 15 wrestlers — including Geeta Phogat, Babita Phogat, Ritu Phogat, Sangeeta Phogat and Satyawart Kadian — from attending the national camp and the consequent trials for the Asian Games. The federation also sent the erring grapplers show-cause notices for their no-show at the men’s national camp in Sonepat and the women’s camp in Lucknow.
“I was feeling a pain in my knee during the 2018 Commonwealth Games. But as I was in the national squad, I did not pay much heed and went on to play. However, after returning the pain has aggravated and I had to visit my doctor at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai. I might not have appeared for the trials, but they (WFI) should have at least sent us a notice on the issue,” Babita Phogat was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Babita’s elder sister Geeta meanwhile told The Times that she was undergoing treatment for her knee in Bengaluru.
Interestingly, two-time Olympics medallist Sushil Kumar and Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik have also skipped the national camp. But they reportedly took permission from the federation.
It remains to be seen whether the federation will buy the reasoning of the Phogat sisters, who have in past brought glory to India. The recent Bollywood movie Dangal was based on Geeta’s triumph at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Four years after the Delhi CWG, Babita also claimed a gold medal in Glasgow.
Meanwhile, it transpired on Thursday that Haryana sports minister, Anil Vij, had requested the WFI to reconsider the players’ exclusion.
Updated Date: May 18, 2018 18:34 PM