New Delhi: 26-year old wrestler from Haryana, Vinesh Phogat has replied to the ‘misbehavior’ allegations by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Phogat wrote an article in the Indian Express where she wrote that”everyone outside is treating me like I am a dead thing”. This development comes after the WFI has temporarily suspended the Indian wrestler.
In the letter, the wrestler has said about how she loves the sport but is not sure of continuing with it.
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The wrestler was suspended on grounds that she did not train with the Indian team and also did not follow the guidelines of training and jersey. “She did not train with any of the Indian wrestlers. It appeared as if she had come with the Hungary team and had nothing to do with the Indian contingent,” said an official to PTI.
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Phogat also came down heavily on the organisation and said that she was not tested for Covid-19 and did not want to risk the lives of other athletes, thus, she chose to stay away. “Why will I stay with the Indian team? They were tested every day for seven days. I wasn’t. What if I got it on the flight and infected them? I was, in fact, thinking about them and wanted to stay away for 2-3 days to be sure that they were not at risk. What’s the big deal? After 2-3 days I was going to join them and even began training with Seema,” wrote Vinesh Phogat in Indian Express.
Phogat had lost to Vanesa KaladzinsKaya in the quarter-final of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. On return, after her loss, she was targeted by the WFI and suspended for her “misbehavior”.
She said how she was ill with Covid-19 last year and that has caused long-lasting problems. “The whole time Since I got COVID first time (August 2020), I can’t digest protein. One year and I have had no protein in my body. It doesn’t stay inside. When I came back from Kazakhstan after Asian Championships, I fell ill again,” the wrestler said.
Phogat spoke of how mentally challenging it was to compete at the Games. “I have not recovered mentally. I slept once since I reached home. I slept for two hours on the flight and sometimes in the Village. There, I would walk alone and drink coffee. I was alone. When the sun would rise, I felt sleepy,” Phogat wrote in the Express.
Vinesh Phogat is a champion wrestler who has won at least one medal in all major wrestling competitions around the world, except the Olympics. She sounded heartbroken after the loss and also from the way she has been treated by the WFI.
“I don’t know when I will return (to the mat). Maybe I won’t. I feel I was better off with that broken leg. I had something to correct. Now my body is not broken, but I’m truly broken,” she concluded.