Vinesh Phogat dismisses questions over participation in two weight categories in wrestling trials, over dope test

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Olympian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has on Thursday dismissed as untrue media reports claiming that she had not taken a dope test after the trials and also raised questions on her qualification for the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in women’s 50kg category because she participated in two weight-categories.

Vinesh put out a statement on social media, dispelling reports that she had not taken a dope test in recent times.

“There have been claims circulating that I did not undergo a dope test after the trials. I want to clarify that I, along with all other finalists, have undergone doping tests after both the senior nationals in the previous month and following the recent trials,” Vinesh said in her statement.

She also alleged that some media channels have “disseminated defamatory information” about her qualification status.

She claimed that Article 7 of the United World Wrestling regulations, which stipulated that each contestant may compete in only one weight category, which certain media channels are quoting to question her participation in both the 50kg and the 53kg categories in the trials, applies only to competitions and not trials.

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“This was confirmed by the ad-hoc committee and officials, allowing me to participate in both the 50kg and 53kg categories during the trials,” said Vinesh in her statement.

She contends that for participating in the trials, complying with the weight restrictions is enough.

Vinesh also claimed that she had to decide to participate in two weight categories in the trials because of the “fluctuating circumstances that can arise surrounding the qualification pathway for the 53kg category, because of disputes between the ad-hoc committee and WFI.

She claimed that these disputes have created uncertainty and instability in the rules and regulations governing future competitions in India. “In light of the ongoing issues and the potential for leadership changes between the ad-hoc committee and wFI, I felt compelled to secure my path to the Olympic Games by participating in both weight categories, as my Olympic weight category has historically been 53kg,” said Vinesh.

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“Regrettably, my participation has raised more questions than answers, especially concerning the involvement of WFI officials in the trials despite court orders to the contrary,” said the wrestler who represented the country in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Despite the question marks raised by a certain section of the media, Vinesh said, “I remain committed to fair competition and upholding the integrity of the sport, despite challenges and pressures I have faced after the protest”.

She thanked all those who have stood by her and urged for a fair and transparent resolution to these issues.

–IANS

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