Asian Games 2023 Indian Olympic Association On Wrestler Bajrang Punia Vinesh Phogat Exemption Delhi High Court

By Neha Bhardwaj July 22, 2023 9:22 PM IST

Asian Games: The Delhi High Court on Saturday (July 22) refused to interfere with the exemption granted to wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia from the trials for the Asian Games. Meanwhile, Bhupendra Singh Bajwa, a member of the Adhoc Committee of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), explained why the players were given exemption.

Bhupendra Singh Bajwa, a member of the adhoc committee, said, “The old policy regarding giving exemptions is continuing. You will find out by looking at the website. It is in the selection policy that you can give exemption to good players so that they do not get injured. It happened in the last Asian Games as well.

What did the last Panghal who filed the petition say?
Talking to the news agency PTI after the High Court’s decision, Under-20 world champion Anhalt Panghal said that I will talk to everyone why this is happening to us. We should also get a chance to go out. If we don’t get a chance to go out then how will we go out? If these people bring the medal again, it will be said again that these people are good, so where will we go. Injustice is being done to us.

What did the counsel for the petitioners say?
A petition was filed in the High Court by eventual Panghal and U-23 Asian champion Sujit Kalkal against the direct entry of Phogat and Punia.

The counsel appearing for the petitioners said during the hearing that the selection of Phogat and Punia was not in accordance with the exemption policy. The petitioner claimed that there was no foreign expert and the decision to select Punia and Phogat was taken without the recommendation of the head coach.

According to PTI, selection trials are necessary in all weight categories as per WFI guidelines. However, the selection committee will have the discretion to select eminent players such as Olympic/World Championship medalists without trials, based on the recommendation of the head coach/foreign expert, subject to the recommendation of the head coach or foreign expert.

What is the matter?
Phogat (53 kg) and Punia (65 kg) were given direct entry for the Asian Games by the IOA’s ad-hoc committee, while the other wrestlers will have to confirm their places in the Indian team through selection trials on July 22 and 23.

Both of them were the main faces of the dharna called for the arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for allegedly sexually assaulting seven female wrestlers.

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