‘Never sought exemption from trials…’, wrestler Sakshi Malik made a big claim

asian games 2023 Sakshi Malik

New Delhi: Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia have been given direct entry in the Asian Games after being exempted from trials. Many wrestlers have objected to this. Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik on Thursday said she never sought exemption from the Asian Games trials despite the IOA’s ad-hoc panel offering to consider her case like Phogat and Punia.

He also alleged that the move to exempt Vinesh and Bajrang from trial was an attempt by the government to break the unity of the wrestlers. Sakshi, who competes in the 62kg category, was at the forefront of protests against outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh along with Vinesh and Bajrang.

A controversy has erupted after the Bhupinder Bajwa-led IOA adhoc panel exempted Bajrang and Vinesh without following protocol. Under-20 world champion Avinash Panghal and 65 kg wrestler Sujit Kalkal have approached the Delhi High Court.

Sakshi said- “As you all know, we had sought additional time from the government to prepare for the Asian Games. We requested them to conduct our trials after 10th August. The government also gave us time, after which we came here for training, but in the last 3-4 days it has come to light that direct entries are being sent for two categories.” Sakshi is currently training in the US.

He made it clear that he was against the exemption and therefore turned down the offer to consider him as an Olympic medalist. Sakshi said, “I was also told by e-mail that my name would also be considered, but I refused. I don’t want to go without trial.”

He further said- Neither I have gone to any tournament without any trial nor do I want to do so now. The only time we had discussed was that our tests should happen after August 10. It is not being done. Sakshi further added, “All I want to say is that everyone should get a chance for justice and a fair selection.”

Earlier, in a tweet, he alleged that it was an attempt to create discord among top wrestlers. Malik wrote in a tweet- “The government has tried to break the unity among wrestlers by sending names directly. I am worried about the intentions behind this act of the government. We had requested them to postpone the trial dates, but the government has defamed us by doing so.”

Brij Bhushan on Thursday got bail from a Delhi court after the police filed a charge sheet alleging sexual assault.

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