India's Olympic farce: After Vinesh Phogat, another overweight wrestler disqualified
Gurpreet weighed 500gm more than what was stipulated to be eligible for the Greco-Roman 75kg category competition.
New Delhi: The Indian wrestling contingent was left red-faced for a second time in the last 15 days after Gurpreet Singh became the latest to be disqualified from an Olympic qualification event for being overweight.
Gurpreet weighed 500gm more than what was stipulated to be eligible for the Greco-Roman 75kg category competition at ongoing 2nd World Qualifying tournament at Istanbul, Turkey, which is the last qualification event for the Rio Olympics.
At the previous qualifying event -- the 1st World Qualification tournament held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia last month -- Vinesh Phogat was disqualified for being overweight.
"Gurpreet was found overweight by 500gm, so he was disqualified from the competition," Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Assistant secretary, Vinod Tomar told PTI.
The ongoing tournament in Istanbul is the last chance for wrestlers to secure Olympic quota places for their respective countries and WFI said Gurpreet's disqualification has cost India dearly as he simply wasted a weight category.
The WFI official said stern action will be taken against him but insisted that coaches are not to be blamed for the fiasco.
"After the team returns to India, a meeting will be held and stern action will be taken against Gurpreet. The coaches, however, cannot not be blamed for this as they tried their best to get Gurpreet into shape but he remained defiant," said Tomar.
The Indian Men's Freestyle and Greco-Roman teams have been training at Tbilisi, Georgia for almost a month now and the government has spent a lot on this exposure trip.
"Gurpreet has wasted the government's money. He has been training in Georgia for a month now and maintaining weight is a part of training. But he has let the Federation as well the country down. So, he would face suspension in all likelihood," said Tomar.
Controversies have engulfed Indian wrestling of late with four grapplers already handed temporary suspension after the previous qualification tournament.
Last week, WFI issued show cause notices to four wrestlers -- Geeta Phogat (women's 58kg), Babita Kumari (women's 53kg), Sumit (men's 125kg freestyle) and Rahul Aware (men's 57kg freestyle) -- before handing them temporary suspension for showing indiscipline.
At the 1st World Qualification event, Babita had forfeited her repechage bout in women's 53kg, while Geeta had pulled out of her 58kg repechage round, citing injury.
Sumit, who had a chance to book an Olympic berth had he won his repechage round followed by two more bouts, also did not turn up for his repechage bout in 125kg freestyle, stating injury.
Rahul Aware, who was shortlisted by WFI to train in Tbilisi along with his colleagues, had earlier refused to board the flight to Georgia, returning home from the airport.
To add to all this, Vinesh (women's 48kg) was disqualified from the event for being overweight.
However, Vinesh was let off with a warning as she assured WFI of ensuring an Olympic berth at the ongoing competition here.
With WFI deciding to come down heavily on the offenders and world body also debarring them from this competition, some of the best Indian wrestlers are not taking part in this crucial tournament.
And adding insult to injury was Gurpreet joining the list of offenders.