Fake certificates flood wrestling body
The signatures of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and secretary-general are genuine and so are the participation certificates. But the names of wrestlers on the certificates are fake, leaving the federation stumped.
“A large number of participation certificates from the 38th Boys Freestyle, Greco-Roman & 21st Women’s Junior National Wrestling Championships (held in Surat, Gujarat from February 1-4 this year) have fake names. And it has left us puzzled as to how these certificates have reached unscrupulous people,” says WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.
Recently, the WFI received five certificates from the Bihar Regimental Centre (BRC), Danapur Cantonment, for verification and three of them turned out fake. “The three certificates are of aspiring candidates seeking jobs in BRC under the sports quota. We cross-checked the names and found them to be fake,” says Tomar.
The WFI is now planning to probe the “scandal”. “It’s damaging (our reputation), and we plan to probe it so that this malpractice comes to an end.”
The certificates claim that the “aspiring wrestlers” represented Goa at the Surat nationals. “Two of them have mentioned freestyle and one Greco-Roman. We usually hand out duly filled and signed participation certificates to the respective state officials and associations to be distributed among competing grapplers. But some unscrupulous elements in state units erase the genuine names and later hand them out to fake ones,” says Tomar.
HT is in possession of three such documents where the WFI has written “fake” in bold across the certificates. “Such malpractices are not possible without the connivance of state unit officials. Those involved are misusing their post. I’m sure they must be selling them at a premium.”
Tomar said that at least half the certificates the WFI received for verification this year were fake. “The issue is on the rise and it’s worrisome.”
He says that it is tough to nail the culprits as there is “no feedback or complaint” from genuine wrestlers who compete in national-level events but don’t collect their certificates. “We only come to know when departments send us the certificates for verification. Otherwise, there is no mechanism to cross-check.”