Women wrestlers complain of coaches missing national camp
The controversy at the women’s wrestling national camp in SAI centre here is refusing to die down. In the latest development, the wrestlers, who were facing disciplinary action by the federation for missing national camps, have reportedly lodged a ‘verbal complaint’ against coaches and support staff for being absent for long periods. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had barred 25 girls from attending national camps that included seven who were not allowed to take part in the trials for the World Championships on August 19.
The WFI has now allowed them back in the camp with a strict warning. The wrestlers during a meeting with WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh during the day of trials listed their grievances. “We told the WFI chief about various problems in the camp. Some wrestlers have their own foreign coaches and physios because they are not getting the kind of support you need when everyone is working hard to achieve Tokyo Olympics qualifying berth,” said a senior wrestler on condition of anonymity.
She also said that some of the coaches should be held responsible for the entire fiasco.
“An important member of the coaching staff went missing for almost 11 days since July 28. We just followed his footsteps because it was Raksha Bandhan and the team had just come back from international tournaments,” she said.
“The WFI did not allow seven wrestlers to take part in the trials for non-Olympic categories but the same rule was not applied to three wrestlers in Olympic categories because they were already selected. How can they have different rules for different players?” she asked.
A senior Sports Authority of India official confirmed that one of the coaches had not reported to camp in Lucknow during the period.
“Like the campers, the coaches and technical officials too need to seek permission for leave. He should have sought permission from the SAI’s local authorities,” the senior SAI official said on Thursday.
There are 10 coaches, which include four foreign coaches in the camp. Besides, there are two physios and two masseur.
WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar admitted the wrestlers have raised the issue but said such an outburst was expected as it was the coach who reported about the wrestlers missing the camp.
“WFI took action following a report from the coaching staff. Only chief coach Kuldeep was not there in Lucknow because he had to come to Delhi for some work at federation office. He (Kuldeep) had sought permission from WFI,” Tomar said.
He said all the wrestlers have been allowed to join the camp but with a warning. “They (wrestlers) have been asked to follow discipline and not leave the camp without prior permission. Government is spending huge money and they have to be more sincere,” Tomar said.