Phogat sisters get reprieve, others face the axe for letting India down

  • Vinayak Padmadeo, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 18, 2016 11:01 IST
Babita (left) and Geeta Phogat seen here with actor Aamir Khan, have apologised for forfeiting their bouts. (Getty)

As expected, the Phogat sisters, Geeta and Babita, will be pardoned by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

The decision was taken by the WFI disciplinary committee, which is headed by senior vice president ID Nanavati on Tuesday, and an official announcement will be made on Wednesday.

“They will get the pardon, but others will not be that lucky for letting the country down,” a source said.

The WFI had issued show-cause notices to four wrestlers, of which three, including the Phogat sisters, had forfeited their bouts at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.

Geeta had forfeited her 53kg repechage bout against China’s Zhou Zhangting under ‘injury default’. Babita gave up her bout against Mexico’s Alma Jane Valencia Escoto. The sisters did this after their chances of qualifying ended in the tournament.

The third sister, Vinesh, who was disqualified for being overweight and then went onto win a quota in Istanbul, has already been let off by the federation.

The WFI has turned a blind eye against the sisters after their father Mahavir had publicly apologised and had asked for leniency. Both Geeta and Babita have also submitted written apologies.

Babita was to be pardoned after she United World Wrestling redistributed her a quota last week after Mongolia’s Sumiya Erdenechimeg tested positive for Meldonium.

Sumeet, Rahul face ban

Sumeet, a 125kg wrestler, faces a lengthy ban and will be asked to refund the amount spent on his air tickets. Sumeet went missing ahead of his repechage bout against Bulgaria’s Lyuben Borisov.

Another freestyle wrestler, Rahul Aware, too faces a ban after he left the team when it was travelling to Georgia for the training camp ahead of the tournament. Aware had alleged that the federation had favoured Sandeep Tomar, whom he had beaten in the trials.

Tomar went on to seal India’s fourth quota in the same tournament.

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