The Wrestling Federation of India is likely to pardon temporarily suspended Babita Kumari for forfeiting her bout in a recent qualifying event and allow her to compete at the Rio Games, as she secured an Olympic berth after her rival failed a dope test.
Babita (women’s 53kg) and another Indian wrestler Ravinder Khatri (Greco-Roman 85kg) were lucky to have acquired berths at the Rio Games after United World Wrestling ruled out the athletes who tested positive from competing in the Olympics and handed their quota places to the next best in the respective weight divisions.
“Babita has apologised for forfeiting her bout (at the 1st World Qualification tournament in Mongolia). She explained that in order to consume her energy she did not fight in what was an inconsequential bout,” Vinod Tomar, WFI assistant secretary, told PTI.
“Since she has got a quota place now, she is likely to be let off and allowed to compete at the Olympics,” he added.
Babita qualified for the Olympics after Mongolia’s Sumiya Erdenechimeg failed a dope test in women’s 53kg at the Asian Olympic qualifier.
Although currently she remains temporarily suspended, the ban may be lifted after WFI holds a meeting on Tuesday.
“Babita has been asked to come on 17th May. The WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has decided to accept her apology. He has also decided to urge with the disciplinary committee to pardon Babita and give her a second chance, and allow her compete at the Rio Games.”
The official, however, said that Babita would have to reply to the show-cause notice, which has already been issued to her, along with other wrestlers, by May 15.
“She would be required to reply to the show-cause notice by May 15,” he said.
Besides Babita, her elder sister Geeta Phogat (women’s 58kg), Sumit (men’s 125kg freestyle) and Rahul Aware (men’s 57kg freestyle), were also handed temporary suspension for indiscipline.
Geeta may also be pardoned, considering her past record.