Grappler Babita Kumari Phogat on Thursday responded after being thrown out of the national camp for the Asian Games by the Wrestling Federation of India on grounds of indiscipline, stating that injuries had forced her to skip it.
The WFI had dropped all four Phogat sisters – Geeta, Babita, Sangeeta and Ritu – from the camp after they did not report for it and demanded an explanation from each of them for their absence.
The men’s and women’s national camps are being simultaneously conducted in Sonepat and Lucknow from May 10-25. Another big name to have been barred from the national camp is Satyawart Kadian, husband of Rio Olympics bronze-medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik.
Babita said she is yet to receive a show-cause notice from the WFI. “I didn’t receive anything from the federation,” she was quoted as saying by PTI. “Yes, I haven’t joined that camp yet as I am recovering from injuries to both my knees. I admit I haven’t informed the federation yet but I will send an application to them today itself.”
Babita said that Ritu and Sangeeta were waiting for their visas to take part in a training camp in Russia and that the federation knew about it. However, the WFI rejected the claim.
Babita also said that Geeta was in Bengaluru training at a private facility and said that she wasn’t sure why her sister hasn’t joined the camp yet. “Geeta is in Bangalore. I thought she has joined the camp. I am also going to Bangalore for my rehab with the JSW facilities,” she said.
Babita hoped the WFI would be lenient enough to let her take part in the Asian Games trials. Earlier, the WFI wasn’t happy about Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat training at Sports Authority of India in Lucknow without informing them beforehand. She was accompanied by her personal physio, trainer and masseur.