*Image credit The Bridge

New Delhi, 30 June:  In an interesting development, the Sports  Ministry on Thursday cleared protesting wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia for international training camps in Kyrgyzstan and Hungary for international training camps in just 24 hours..

The wrestlers who hogged the nationwide spotlight as they spearheaded the agitation against the former president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Brij Bhushan Singh, demanding his arrest under various sexual harassment cases for the last six months, had sent their proposals to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS)  for training abroad and the same was cleared within 24 hours of their request.

The protesting wrestlers who had not trained since January in any official camp were still retained in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)  scheme.

As per the ministry release, while Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia will head out to Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan for 36 days training camp, World Championships medalist Vinesh Phogat will first head out to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for a week of training then to Tata, Hungary for 18 days of training camp.

Vinesh will be accompanied by physiotherapist Ashwini Jeevan Patil, sparring partner Sangeeta Phogat and Coach Sudesh, Bajrang will be accompanied by Coach Sujeet Maan, Physiotherapist Anuj Gupta, sparring partner Jitender and Strength and Conditioning expert Kaazi Hasan.

The government will fund Vinesh, Bajrang, their sparring partners Sangeeta Phogat and Jitender and coaches Sudesh and Sujeet Maan's air tickets, board and lodging cost, camp expenses, airport transfer costs, OPA and other miscellaneous costs.

Additionally, the cost for the other support staff accompanying the wrestlers will be borne by Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ).

Both Vinesh and Bajrang are set to leave in the first week of July.


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