WFI urges SAI to conduct medical tests of Paris-bound wrestlers

"This precaution is necessary to ensure that each athlete is in optimal health and fitness to compete at their best," read the letter written by the WFI's president Sanjay Kumar Singh.
Vinesh Phogat, one of the six wrestlers qualified for the 2024 Olympics.
Vinesh Phogat, one of the six wrestlers qualified for the 2024 Olympics.

CHENNAI: With no preparatory camp ahead of the Olympics under its wings and an apparent lack of knowledge about athletes' whereabouts, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) wrote to the TOPS division of SAI requesting it to make sure Paris-bound wrestlers undergo medical tests before departing for the Games.

As many as six Indian wrestlers including five women qualified for the Olympics. Two of them, Vinesh Phogat (50kg) and Aman Sehrawat (57kg), are training in Spain and Russia respectively at the moment while Anshu Malik (57kg) is scheduled to leave for Japan. Aman is expected to return to the country ahead of the Games but Vinesh and Anshu are scheduled to join the Indian contingent directly in Paris. Other qualified wrestlers are Antim Phogat (53kg), Nisha Dahiya (68kg) and Reetika Hooda (76kg). The trio is training in India at their respective centres.

"I am writing to inform you that there will be no camp for wrestlers for Olympic preparation this year. Instead, I would like to bring to your attention that some wrestlers participating in the Olympic Games are training in India at their respective training centres, while others are training abroad under the TOPS Scheme. In light of the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics Games, it is crucial that all participating wrestlers undergo thorough medical testing before departing for the Games. This precaution is necessary to ensure that each athlete is in optimal health and fitness to compete at their best," read the letter written by the WFI's president Sanjay Kumar Singh.

Notably, the last date to make changes in the entry list is July 11 (Thursday). However, there is a provision for amendment in the list even after the deadline, in case of an injury to the named athlete with a rider — only one among the athletes named for a particular event can be sent as the replacement. Earlier, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had sent a long list of athletes including wrestlers for the Paris Games on March 31 this year.

The WFI also affirmed that the federation could not be held responsible if the participating wrestlers sustain injuries before the Games. "Furthermore, I kindly request the TOPS Division to coordinate and facilitate medical tests of the Olympic athletes at the earliest convenience. It is important to note that any injuries sustained by any wrestler during the Games or before the Games will not hold the Federation responsible, as no preparatory camp has been sanctioned by SAI," the letter said.

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