Sunday, June 16, 2024

‘It is beyond my understanding’: Yogeshwar Dutt questions ‘one-bout trials’ for protesting wrestlers

Olympic bronze medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt on Friday questioned the IOA ad-hoc panel’s decision to limit Asian Games and World Championship selection trials for six protesting wrestlers, reducing it to a single-bout competition.

On Thursday, six wrestlers — Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Sangeeta Phogat, Satywart Kadian and Jitender Kinha– who were involved in the protest at Jantar Mantar have been granted the opportunity for one-bout trials by the ad-hoc committee of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). They will need to defeat only the victors of the trials to secure their spot in the marquee events.

Vinesh, along with Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Punia and Rio Games bronze medallist Sakshi, has led the wrestlers’ protest against former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for alleged sexual harassment.

Questioning the decision, Dutt posted a video on Twitter and said: “I don’t know what is the criteria adopted by the committee to reduce the selection trials to a one-bout competition for six protesting wrestlers.”

“If the committee wants such a trial, then there are many wrestlers — like Olympic medalist Ravi Dahiya, world silver medalist Anshu Malik etc who performed well on the international stage. It is beyond my understanding to exempt six wrestlers from the trials.”

“This is all wrong. To date, the earlier federation did not take the decision that you (the Ad-hoc committee) have taken, without looking at any rules and without making any criteria,” he added.

Dutt also claimed he come to know that protesting wrestlers have written a letter to the Ad-hoc committee, seeking exemption from the initial trials. The 40-year-old urged other wrestlers to raise their concerns to IOA by writing a letter.



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