Wrestler Deepak Punia’s coach’s accreditation cancelled, told to leave Tokyo

The Indian wrestling contingent at the Tokyo Olympic Games was in for a major embarrassment as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) cancelled the accreditation of the foreign coach of 86kg grappler Deepak Punia — who had lost his bronze-medal bout to a San Marino opponent — after the trainer misbehaved with the referee for the bout.

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary-general Rajeev Mehta in a late-evening tweet on Friday wrote, “Indian Wrestling team’s foreign assistant coach (Belarusian) Mr Murad Gaidarov who was involved in an uncalled incident of assault on one of the match referees, is being withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympic Village immediately and is being called back to India on the latest flight.”

Mehta added that, “Murad Gaidarov is removed from the Olympic Village and will be transported back to India on 10.30 flight from Tokyo.”

Confirming the incident to IANS, IOA treasurer Anandeshwar Pandey told IANS from Tokyo that he was there at the venue when the incident took place on Thursday, adding that Gaidarov had yelled and misbehaved with the match referee during the bronze-medal contest between Punia and Myles Amine of San Marino, which the latter won 4-2.

Pandey said that the match referee had lodged a formal complaint with the International Wrestling Federation, which in turn informed the Tokyo Games organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who issued a letter to the Indian contingent’s chef de mission Birender Prasad Baishya.

“The coach (Gaidarov) had lodged an appeal when Punia was trailing 2-3, but it was turned down and the opponent got an additional point, which resulted in the Indian wrestler losing by a 2-4 margin,” said Pandey, adding that, following the bout there was an altercation with the match referee.

“The IOC cancelled Gaidarov’s accreditation and the chef de mission told him not to leave his hotel room and he was booked in the next flight out of Tokyo,” Pandey told IANS.

Asked if the IOA will take disciplinary action against the coach, Pandey said, the issue was between the Wrestling Federation of India and the foreign coach and that the IOA had nothing to do with it. “The IOC has given Mr Baishya the letter cancelling the accreditation to Gaidarov and the coach is leaving Tokyo,” added Pandey.

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) secretary Vinod Tomar could not be reached in Tokyo.–IANS