Neeraj Chopra, India’s gold medallist at Tokyo Olympics, came out in support of wrestler Vinesh Phogat.
Phogat faced the heat of criticisms after being accused of breaking the discipline in Tokyo.
In the Tweet, Neeraj Chopra posted in Hindi, “Every player comes to the field with the aim of raising the tricolour of his country. Vinesh Phogat is one of the best athletes of India who has brought laurels to the country on many occasions.”
He then switched to English to say, “We are all proud of you and will continue to support you in the next phase of your career.”
The 26-year-old wrestler participated in Tokyo but was defeated in the quarter-final match itself. Soon after, WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh levied some allegations.
According to Singh, not only did she refuse to stay near her Indian teammates but she also did not train with them through the duration of the competition.
Moreover, she also chose to wear the name of a private sponsor on her singlet instead of the Indian contingent official sponsor, forcing the WFI to suspend her.
She was suspended on what they claim are ‘three counts of indiscipline’.
Wrestler Vinesh Phogat has apologized to the Wrestling Federation of India. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) now holds the final discretion on Phogats’s case, to be deliberated by the authorities.
“While the Athlete deeply regrets not winning a medal, the Athlete believes she has been wrongfully accused of misconduct and indiscipline at the Tokyo Olympic Games Village (‘Olympic Village’). The Athlete respectfully refutes the allegations specified under the said Notice,” the reply quoted by Indian Express stated.
“In order to follow all COVID-19 protocols, Vinesh was required to stay with athletes of India’s track & field contingent who had arrived before the wrestlers and completed their quarantine and was housed with Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan and Sekar Dhanalakshmi. The Athlete did not stay separately from the Indian contingent, as even the athletics contingent was a part of the larger Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics 2020,” the reply stated.
Tejaswin Shankar, Geeta Phogat, Darren Caldeira are just a few of the many names coming in solidarity with Vinesh Phogat.
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