Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt has paid the price for Wrestling Federation of India’s financial dispute with FILA (International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles), as the grappler has been barred from competing in the Golden Grand Prix event in Azerbaijan by the organisers on the world body’s instruction.
Yogeshwar was India’s lone entry to the Grand Prix event as the WFI had sent his name to the organisers. Over two hundred of the world’s best wrestlers from 35 countries competed in Olympic wrestling’s three styles from November 22-24.
The wrestler, accompanied by chief coach Vinod Kumar, was in for a rude shock when the organisers barred him from participating on the instructions of FILA owing to the world governing body’s tiff with the Indian federation.
WFI owned some part of the money to FILA for hosting the Asian Wrestling Championships at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi from April 18 to 22 this year.
FILA had demanded the money from WFI during the World Championships in September in Budapest to which the Indian federation assured the governing body to settle the remaining amount during the Heydar Aliev Memorial Invitation.
FILA, however, instructed the organisers to not allow the Indian entry, Yogeshwar, from competing in the event till the issue was not resolved with the WFI.
The dispute between FILA and WFI robbed Yogeshwar of the chance to compete against the world’s best wrestlers and get battle ready for the tough assignments ahead.
Asked about the incident, Yogeshwar told said: “Federation must be aware of what went wrong in Baku. There was some problem which I don’t know. You should ask our coach Vinod Kumar who accompanied me or the federation officials. I only know one thing that even my weight did not happen leave alone the participation. It was an important tournament for me for three reasons.”
“Firstly, I would have competed as per the new rules introduced by FILA from this season. My injury did not allow me to compete in tournaments with new rules. Secondly, I would have competed in new weight category (66kg) than my traditional weight (60kg).
“As per the changes in weight categories, I am supposed to switch to higher weight category. Thirdly, it takes time to find your lost rhythm keeping the next year in mind. It was disappointing for me to comeback without competing,” Yogeshwar said.