Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra speaks up in support of ‘suspended’ Vinesh Phogat
After the Tokyo Olympics, the WFI accused Vinesh Phogat of indiscipline and barred her from participating in any tournament. Neeraj Chopra has made it clear that he will support Vinesh Phogat.
India’s first track-and-field Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra has spoken out in support of beleaguered wrestler Vinesh Phogat, who has been temporarily suspended by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Javelin star Neeraj Chopra tweeted a photo with Vinesh Phogat and wrote on social media that he will continue to support the wrestler.
Vinesh Phogat was one of the biggest medal contenders for India at the Tokyo Olympics. But Vinesh lost in the quarterfinal match. After the Tokyo Olympics, the WFI accused Vinesh Phogat of indiscipline and barred her from participating in any tournament.
Neeraj Chopra has made it clear that he will support Vinesh Phogat. Neeraj Chopra said, “Every player lands on the field with the aim of raising the tricolor for their country. Vinesh Phogat is one of India's best athletes who has brought glory to the country on many occasions. We are all proud of you and will continue to support you in the next phase of your career.”
hr khilaaddii apn dsh k tirg ko uucaa krn k mksd s phiildd pr utrtaa h / @Phogat_Vinesh hmaar dsh k srvshrsstth khilaaddiyo m s ek h jinhon tirg ko kii baar lhraayaa h / We are all proud of you and will continue to support you through the next phase of your career. pic.twitter.com/rV5sfdBxHq — Neeraj Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) August 15, 2021
Meanwhile, the 2018 Asian Games champion has refuted WFI on all their allegations apart from one – related to the wrong jersey she wore at the Tokyo Olympics. Vidushpat Singhania, who is the managing partner of Krida Legal, is the lawyer representing Vinesh Phogat against WFI.
“While the Athlete deeply regrets not winning a medal, the Athlete believes she has been wrongfully accused of misconduct and indiscipline at the Tokyo Olympic Games Village (‘Olympic Village’). The Athlete respectfully refutes the allegations specified under the said Notice,” the reply quoted by Indian Express newspaper stated.
“In order to follow all COVID-19 protocols, Vinesh was required to stay with athletes of India’s track & field contingent who had arrived before the wrestlers and completed their quarantine, and was housed with Revathi Veeramani, Subha Venkatesan and Sekar Dhanalakshmi. The Athlete did not stay separately from the Indian contingent, as even the athletics contingent was a part of the larger Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics 2020,” the reply stated.