Deepak Punia.

Postpone the men’s camp too, wrestlers urge WFI

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On Thursday, three wrestlers – Deepak Punia (86kg), Navin (65kg) and Krishan (125kg) – tested positive for Covid-19 in Sonepat.

Deepak Punia.
Deepak Punia.

NEW DELHI: After three Indian wrestlers tested positive for coronavirus at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Sonepat, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is facing growing calls to postpone the men’s national camp. Some grapplers – in quarantine in Sonepat — have expressed concern and said that to start the camp soon could “backfire”.

Speaking to IANS, a senior wrestler, on the condition of anonymity, said that the federation must speak to the SAI and postpone the camp immediately.

“They put us at risk. Why is everybody going so mad about starting the camp so early? What is the hurry? Which tournament we are playing this year? This (national camp) is going to backfire. Better postpone it immediately,” said the wrestler.

Another wrestler said that the athletes present in Sonepat are giving excuses to leave the camp. “Wrestlers have started giving personal reasons to leave the camp. Some said their mother is not well and some have given other reasons. Nobody wants to take any chance with life,” he said.

On Thursday, three wrestlers – Deepak Punia (86kg), Navin (65kg) and Krishan (125kg) – tested positive for Covid-19 in Sonepat, where they were in a 14-day quarantine ahead of a national camp, raising doubts about the start of the training on September 15.

But the federation insisted that the development wouldn’t have a negative impact on the national camp. According to a source, eight men wrestlers have reached the venue so far and they all are inside their rooms, serving the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

Speaking to IANS, World championship silver medallist Deepak said he underwent a second test on Thursday. “I gave the test again last evening. Till date, I have no symptoms. I am perfectly all right,” he said. “I would request all the people who came in contact with me, last week or so, to get checked or isolate themselves.”

The WFI had earlier postponed the women’s camp after many wrestlers, including star grappler Vinesh Phogat, refused to join it.

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