Wrestling Federation of India dates for Olympic trials create new confusion. GETTY IMAGES

The controversy in Indian wrestling continues as the two governing bodies are set to hold Olympic trials on the same dates, causing confusion among the athletes.

Insidethegames had previously reported that the decision by United World Wrestling (UWW) to lift the ban on the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) would cause further controversy.

The WFI announced the dates for the Olympic trials on 10 and 11 March at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi. According to Sportstar, the medal winners of the two national championships organised by the WFI and the ad hoc committee appointed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in Pune and Jaipur respectively will be eligible to participate in the trials. "All renowned wrestlers are also invited to participate in the above-mentioned trials," reads the WFI announcement.

Sportstar also reports that WFI President Sanjay Singh said that the wrestlers placed in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) will be invited to the trials. They include Aman Sehrawat and Ravi Dahiya (both 57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Deepak Punia (86kg) in the men's category and Antim Panghal and Vinesh Phogat (both 53kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) in the women's. Punia and Phogat protested against WFI ex-president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and are now protesting against his protégé Sanjay Singh. 

Bajrang Punia won a bronze medal in the men's 65kg category at Tokyo 2020. GETTY IMAGES
Bajrang Punia won a bronze medal in the men's 65kg category at Tokyo 2020. GETTY IMAGES

Meanwhile, the ad hoc committee has also arranged Olympic trials on the same dates but at different venues - Patiala for the men and Sonipat for women, reports the Hindustan Times. The ad hoc committee is now in charge of wrestling in India as the WFI has been suspended by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. The UWW's decision means that only the athletes sent by the WFI can take part in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournaments, but the fact is that the athletes cannot take part in the Olympic Games without the permission of the IOA. 

The WFI members have met with the Sports Ministry officials to ask for the suspension to be lifted, but the decisions have not been overturned, so the confusion in Indian wrestling continues.