Home » Yogeshwar Slams Trials Exemption to Bajrang, Vinesh And Calls Decision Unfair

Yogeshwar Slams Trials Exemption to Bajrang, Vinesh And Calls Decision Unfair

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Yogeshwar Dutt. (Credit: AFP)

The Olympic medallist opened up about the Asian Games selection trials, saying that the “biased move” was not in the best interest of the sport.

Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt on Wednesday came down heavily on the IOA-appointed ad-hoc panel’s decision to hand exemptions to Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat from the Asian Games selection trials, saying that the “biased move” was not in the best interest of the sport.

IOA’s ad-hoc panel on Tuesday handed direct Asian Games entries to Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Vinesh Phogat (53kg), who were at the forefront of the protest against outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The junior wrestlers, especially the most-affected Antim Panghal and Sujeet Kalkal, have also slammed the panel and dragged it to the court, demanding a fair trial in all categories.

“There is nothing to celebrate and be happy about in wrestling in the last 6-7 months. We don’t want wrestlers to hit roads again as wrestling has already been shamed a lot,” London Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar said in a Twitter live video.

“Yesterday, the ad-hoc committee issued a letter stating the Asian Games selection trials will be held on July 22 and 23 in all 18 weight categories. But in the 53kg and 65kg categories, the panel said the selection has been done even though it didn’t disclose the names. It created a big confusion.

“The ad-hoc committee has confused the entire nation by not disclosing whom they selected. The entire wrestling fraternity is confused. You said the selection will be made according to the federation rules but it is not,” he added.

Yogeshwar, who is also Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, claimed that national coach Jagmander Singh and women’s national coach Virender Dahiya, who are part of the committee, have not been taken into confidence while handing over exemptions.

WFI rules allow the selection committee to pick past winners of Olympic/World Championship medals without trials, but only if that is recommended by the chief coach/foreign expert.

“I have spoken to Jagminder and the women’s national coach, who said they were against exemption from trials. Till the chief coach or national coaches agrees, the selection is not complete. It was a wrong decision not to take them into confidence,” Yogeshwar said.

“Have you taken the fitness test of those two selected? If you have to send the team this way, you should have selected the whole team. Why have you given exemption in only these two weight categories?” He particularly attacked ad-hoc panel chief Bhupender Singh Bajwa, Olympian wrestlers Gian Singh and Ashok Garg for unilaterally taking the decision, keeping national coaches in the dark. “All wrestlers are upset and confused. Gyan Singh, Ashok Garg, Bajwa ji please clear the air what is the basis of the trial and what is the basis of the exemption that you have given in two weight categories,” Yogeshwar questioned.

“Why trials are being conducted in 53kg and 65kg when the winners will be stand-bys?” Yogeshwar asked all the wrestlers to approach IOA and lodge their protest against such an unfair decision.

“I would request IOA president PT Usha to please take a call and save wrestling.

This is a strange decision. There is no transparency in this decision. I have seen Antim’s video, she was crying,” he said.

“I would request others such as Ravi Dahiya, and Deepak Punia to come forward and lodge a protest against this unfair decision.” “I am with all the wrestlers. I won’t think for a second if I have to sacrifice anything for justice. Don’t lose hope, continue your fight, keep on training and whenever I am needed and I am with you all guys.” The Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8.

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

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