Sakshi Malik and Sushil Kumar have been left out of Grade ‘A’ of the Wrestling Federation of India’s proposed contract system.
While the two Olympic medallists have been put in Grade B, Geeta and Babita Phogat have not been offered central contracts of any grade, reported The Times of India. Earlier this month, the Sports Authority of India rolled out an updated Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) list, where Sushil Kumar’s name was not included.
The TOPS scheme, a government-funded program, provisionally included Sakshi Malik’s name till the 2019 Asian Championships.
“Sushil and Sakshi have been accommodated in Grade B of Rs 20 lakh. Their performance chart has shown a rapid decline. Sushil is nowhere close to his former self, while Sakshi hasn’t been able to replicate her Rio Olympics form,” an official informed the newspaper.
In an unprecedented step, the Wrestling Federation of India had decided to hand out central contracts to 150 wrestlers after the conclusion of the 2018 Senior National Championships which ends on December 2.
“This step is aimed at giving every wrestler motivation to perform better and make them self-sufficient. No wrestlers should feel that the lack for money has stopped him or her from performing at an event. The contracts will be given to 150 wrestlers throughout the age-groups and styles. We will pick the wrestlers from the national competitions beginning with senior level and then other age-groups,” Assistant Secretary of WFI Vinod Tomar had told Scroll back then.
The contracts will be divided into nine categories alphabetically from A to I with the highest category wrestlers getting a total of Rs 30 lakh for an year. The brackets for each categories are yet to be decided but the lowest limit will be Rs 30000.
The WFI official also stated that the federation’s president Brij Bhushan Singh will inform Sakshi and Sunil of the governing body’s decision in person at the senior nationals in Gonda.