Veteran Indian freestyle wrestler Satender Malik of the Indian Air Force is facing a lifetime ban for physically attacking an official during national trials for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The trials took place on Tuesday at the Indira Gandhi indoor sports complex.
This is the first time a wrestler has misbehaved with an official at a WFI-sanctioned event and faced stiff penalties. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, WFI President, said:
“Malik was banned for life because he assaulted the referee during the national selections on Tuesday. He will not be able to participate in WFI-sanctioned competitions in the future. A life ban for Malik will be an example for others in the world. field of wrestling that they shouldn’t lose their temper.
Malik was on the sidelines in the 125kg freestyle event. However, on Tuesday, he reached the heavyweight class final against Mohit. Malik was leading 3-0 in the opening stages of the six-minute bout.
But at a crucial moment in the thrilling competition, Mohit secured two runs with a strikeout followed by a run to level the scores at 3-3.
With time running out, Malik was at a disadvantage and his coach challenged the referee’s decision to give Mohit three in a row. The decision tipped the scales in favor of Mohit, who was on the verge of winning a ticket to the Commonwealth Games.
Since the mat umpire’s decision was challenged, video footage of the match has been reviewed by head referee Jagbir Singh. After viewing the video footage, Singh refused Malik’s trainer’s challenge and Mohit was declared the winner of the 125kg event.
Annoyed at losing his Commonwealth Games spot, Malik attacked Singh, who was officiating the 57kg final between Ravi Dahiya and Aman on the other mat. The 57kg final has also been temporarily halted.
The fight did not go well with the community of referees who officiated the national selections and they approached the president of WFI who was present on the occasion. A national level coach present during the national selections said:
“Commonwealth Games events are hotly contested, but wrestlers shouldn’t get carried away.”