Vinesh Phogat Accuses WFI of Obstructing Olympic Qualification Bid

Vinesh Phogat Accuses WFI of Obstructing Olympic Qualification Bid

Wrestler Vinesh Phogat has accused the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) of attempting to hinder her participation in the Olympic Qualifiers by creating logistical obstacles for her support staff. Phogat, a 29-year-old bronze medalist in the 53kg category at the 2019 and 2022 World Championships, also expressed concerns about being implicated in a doping case.

The WFI, however, has denied these allegations, stating that Phogat's request for accreditation of her coach and physio came after the deadline for entry submissions had expired. The federation claims to have sent the entries of players, coaches, and medical staff to the world governing body UWW on March 15, after UWW extended the deadline slightly.

Phogat, who is aiming for an Olympic quota in the 50kg category at the Asian qualifying tournament in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, has alleged that WFI President Brij Bhushan and his associates are trying to prevent her from competing. She expressed fears that her water could be tampered with during her match, leading to a potential doping violation.

The WFI has clarified that it has no objection to Phogat traveling with her personal coach and physio but that she must obtain accreditation from UWW herself. The federation maintains that it has already registered the support staff and did not receive any instructions from the Ministry or SAI to add Phogat's coach to the list.

Phogat's allegations come amidst ongoing tensions between her and the WFI. She was one of the three wrestlers who led a protest against former WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accusing him of sexual harassment. Singh was granted bail in July after a case was filed against him by Delhi Police.

Phogat has questioned whether the difficulties she is facing are a result of her involvement in the protest. She has expressed hope that justice will be served before she represents India at the Olympic Qualifiers.

Tags: #VineshPhogat, #WFI, #OlympicQualifiers, #DopingConcerns, #SexualHarassmentAllegations

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