Blacklisted: Another Sri Lankan goes missing on wrestling tour | Sunday Observer

Blacklisted: Another Sri Lankan goes missing on wrestling tour

10 October, 2021

While several Sri Lankan sports administrators join the new rich in a free-for-all, a wrestling manager has seen greener pastures on the other side of the fence:

The contingent of Sri Lankan wrestlers who went on tour to contest the 17th World Wrestling Championships in Oslo, Norway returned to the island without its manager who has reportedly decamped and has stayed back in the saga of missing athletes and vanishing officials.

Wrestling officials in Sri Lanka have alleged that Donald Indrawansa deserted camp and has to answer what happened to a sum of Rs 285,000 that was meant to be used to pay for PCR tests of the participants at the Oslo airport on arrival.

One wrestling official said they had expected the scenario that has been common among wrestlers and that there was nothing they could have done to prevent it.

He said it was worthy of note that this time only one member of the tour party had vanished without a trace on a tour.

In a strange irony the Sri Lankan contingent had received visas just for six days when the Championship was to be held for ten days that raised the question of why did they embark on the tour in the first place.

An investigation by the Sunday Observer revealed that only one wrestler participated in one event that lasted only for just over two minutes.

The Sunday Observer also reported before the tour that the selection of wrestlers was done without conducting trials and the tour party was picked way back in 2018 but did not participate in any meets after that.

There were also some last minute changes to the squad due to the fitness of some of the wrestlers.

Wrestlers have often decamped during previous tours to Western countries as well as Japan. On one such tour to Canada in 1993, only one member returned out of a contingent of eleven.

Insiders told the Sunday Observer that the activities of the Wrestling Association are questionable with many irregularities taking place but nothing done by the powers that be to bring an end to the notoriety.