A WRESTLER will now require an Aadhaar card to participate in national level tournaments. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has introduced this mandatory stipulation to curb age fraud and also prevent the inter-state exodus of players using fake domicile.
The federation is also looking to curb, what the WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh Saran calls, the “over-interference of private agencies and agents with the wrestlers in national camps.” Speaking to The Indian Express, he said: “We have seen many wrestlers sign contracts with private agencies and later these agencies interfere with our wrestlers and the federation. We need to bring in regulations to curb this phenomenon.”
“We have seen wrestlers moving to other states once they fail to qualify from their state where they were born. Once an Aadhaar card is submitted, we will know the age and the domicile. We will enter these details in our data base. The Aadhaar number will be his identity and it will be mentioned in the participation list of tournaments,” Saran said explaining the thought behind the new rule.
Saran added that having a valid Aadhaar card will go a long way in curbing age fraud amongst wrestlers. “The move will give genuine wrestlers an even playing ground. Age fraud is the biggest issue in our country.”
The new regulation will be introduced during the Nationals at Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, which is scheduled to take place from October 22 to 25. This will be the first tournament after Rio Olympics where top wrestlers are expected to participate.
While making it mandatory for all the top wrestlers to participate in the tournament, the federation warned that anyone who skips it, will be barred from the national camp. Well placed sources in the federation said that CCTV cameras will be installed at the venue to avoid irregularities at weigh-ins, a day before the competition, for which WFI is planning to send an observer.
“After the weigh-ins, there are coaches who request for easier brackets for their wrestlers and we have received complaints related to the same. This will be stopped now. We will have an observer from the federation and will also install CCTVs at the weigh-in centre to stop such incidents,” the WFI source said.