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Final Assessment Of Wrestling Squad For Asian Games To Be Done Before Departure: IOA

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The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Wednesday said the final assessment of the country’s wrestling contingent for the upcoming Asian Games will be made prior to players’ departure for China to “maximise the chances of sending the most competitive team”.

The IOA said in a statement that “the selection process for wrestlers to participate in the Asian Games is designed to be fair, transparent and in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the International Federation (UWW)”.

IOA statement came after the country’s promising junior wrestlers moved the Delhi High Court, demanding a fair trial as an ad-hoc panel exempted Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat from Asian Games trials.

However, IOA officials did not elaborate if the assessment will be relevant after sending entries.

Several calls to IOA officials went unanswered.

“The Selection Committee, comprising experienced officials and experts, has recently published the norms for the selection of wrestlers, so that the entry process of the team including reserves can be completed before 23 Jul 2023.

“To maximize the chances of sending the most competitive wrestling team to the Asian Games 2022, the final assessment of the wrestling team will be made prior to departure of the team for the competition,” the IOA release read.

“This approach will enable us to assess the athletes’ current form, consider their recent performances, and take into account any last-minute developments that may have impacted the selection process.” Vinesh (53kg) and Bajrang Punia (65kg) were given direct entries for the Asian Games by the Indian Olympic Association’s ad-hoc committee on Tuesday while other wrestlers will have to book their places in the Indian squad through selection trials on July 22 and 23.

Besides, the IOA said it was committed to sending a clean, dope-free contingent to the Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou from September 23 to October 8.

“Furthermore, in alignment with our steadfast dedication to upholding the principles of clean and drug-free competition, we are resolute in ensuring that only athletes who abide by the highest ethical standards are given the opportunity to participate.

“Our selection process for the Asian Games involves rigorous anti-doping screenings and testing, adhering to the guidelines set forth by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA),” the national Olympic body said.

“We will continue to collaborate closely with National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to conduct thorough and surprise tests to ensure that all potential participants are free from any performance-enhancing substances.” Speaking about the selection process, IOA president PT Usha said, “We believe in nurturing a culture of excellence and fair play in Indian sports. The Asian Games provide a fantastic opportunity for our athletes to compete on a grand stage and make the nation proud.

“By aligning our selection criteria with the Government of India’s guidelines, we aim to showcase a contingent that embodies the true spirit of sportsmanship and dedication.”

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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