WFI likely to soften stand against Babita Kumari

After getting two more Olympic quota places, including one in women’s 53kg through Babita Kumari, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is likely to soften its stand against the ace grappler and allow her to compete in the Rio Games.

Babita Kumari (above) and her sister Geeta Phogat had invited the WFI wrath for forfeiting their bronze medal matches in 53kg and 58kg respectively after failing to qualify for the Rio Games at the Asian qualifying event earlier this month.   -  R. V. Moorthy

After getting two more Olympic quota places, including one in women’s 53kg through Babita Kumari, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is likely to soften its stand against the ace grappler and allow her to compete in the Rio Games.

Following some doping violations for small concentrations of Meldonium at the European and the Asian Olympic qualification tournaments, the United World Wrestling (UWW) declared the dope-positive athletes ineligible to compete in the Olympics and handed their quota places to the next best in the respective weights.

Because of this India added two more slots, through Ravinder Khatri in 85kg Greco Roman and Babita, to its six quota places.

Babita and her sister Geeta Phogat had invited the WFI wrath for forfeiting their bronze medal matches in 53kg and 58kg respectively after failing to qualify for the Rio Games at the Asian qualifying event in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, earlier this month. The national federation, which had issued show-cause notices to both the sisters, was expected to take strong action against them for the ‘lack of discipline and professionalism.’

Now, the Olympic quota place in Babita’s weight seems to have pacified the WFI top brass.

“Since Babita has got a quota place, she may be let off and allowed to participate in the Olympics. However, the due process relating to the show-cause notice will be completed,” said a federation official on Thursday.

Considering Geeta’s stature in women’s wrestling, she is likely get a reprieve as well.

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