Pay ₹8 lakh or face life ban: WFI to tell Reena

Reena has to share with the Wrestling Federation of India half of her penalty of ₹16 lakh imposed on her for failing a dope test at the U-23 Asian Championship in March, 2019.

Representative Image: For every doping offence by its wrestlers, the national federation is bound to pay ₹16 lakh to the United World Wrestling. Photo:   -  Getty Images

Wrestler Reena will be handed a life ban if she fails to share with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) half of her penalty of ₹16 lakh imposed on her for failing a dope test at the U-23 Asian Championship in March, 2019.

Reena has been handed a provisional suspension.

For every doping offence by its wrestlers, the national federation is bound to pay ₹16 lakh to the United World Wrestling (UWW), the world’s governing body. The WFI is now waiting for the outcome of the final hearing to be conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) here soon, and it has been learnt that the wrestler will be asked to pay ₹eight lakh if she fails to come out clean.

Related | Reena fails dope test

Last year, the WFI paid ₹32 lakh in penalties to UWW for two doping offences, committed by Jatin and Manish. The two have already been handed life bans for failing to share the penalty with WFI. “Why should the national federation pay the price for wrestler’s mistake all the time? We paid ₹32 lakh penalty to UWW last year and in all likelihood we will have to cough up another ₹16 lakh. Reena will be asked to share the amount and if she fails to do that, she will also be banned for life,” said a WFI official, who did not wish to be named.

“Jatin and Manish were banned for two years, as is the norm in junior wrestling, but they were handed life bans by WFI because they did not share half of the penalty,” added the official.

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Jatin (69kg) had won a gold at the Cadet Asian Championship in 2016 while Manish (50kg) was a bronze medallist at the Junior Greco Roman championship in 2017. Both tournaments were held in Chinese Taipei. Reena, the silver-medallist in the 53kg category at the recent U-23 Asian Championship in Mongolia, had also won a bronze in the junior Asian Championship last year in July, and a silver at the Asian Cadet Championship in 2015.

Need to be proactive

According to WFI officials, Reena had taken an injection before the championship for treating pain on the advise of her personal coach. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the WFI president, has said the NADA and Sports Ministry have to be proactive and send representatives to collect samples during trials for international championships.

“I have been asking them to send representative for sample collections during the trials for some time. If they do, and two-three offenders are caught, it will instil fear in the minds of others. It will work as a deterrent. But it has been not been done,” Singh had said.

At the last national championship in Gonda, a NADA representative had come and collected samples. Singh said the WFI has now instructed coaches attached with the Indian teams to report to the federation if they suspend any wrongdoing by wrestlers. “These things do not happen at national camps. The personal coaches, who do not have expertise and knowledge about banned substances have a huge role in it. The wrestlers also have to behave responsibly,” he said.

“That’s why we had issued a circular recently that coaches will also face consequences if wrestlers fail dope tests,” he said.