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Australian Wrestler Stripped Of Silver For Rude Gesture

Australian wrestler Hassene Fkiri lost his temper and a certain medal in the 96kg Greco-Roman class at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday.Tunisian-born Fkiri, 36, was disqualified midway through his gold medal bout against India's Anil
PTI October 05, 2010 22:15 IST
PTI
Australian wrestler Hassene Fkiri lost his temper and a certain medal in the 96kg Greco-Roman class at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday.

Tunisian-born Fkiri, 36, was disqualified midway through his gold medal bout against India's Anil Kumar at the Indira Gandhi Complex in Delhi.

Fkiri appeared to have been disqualified for making an obscene gesture to the judges.
 
The Australian looked frustrated during the bout, at one point trying to slap and headbutt his local rival before eventually giving the finger to international wrestling officials.

Australian wrestling team manager Kuldip Bassi said Fkiri lost his temper and was completely devastated by the outcome.



‘‘He should have been happy with the silver and he probably didn't want to lose,'' he said.

‘‘He was really upset and he said he lost control, he pointed the finger towards FILA people, which is the worldwide organisation.

‘‘I asked him, 'Did you do it?' and he said yes he did. So that's the end of the story, you can't do anything more than that.

‘‘He shouldn't have done that, he is a very senior wrestler ... whether you win or lose I think you've got to accept it, you've got to respect everybody, it is not really sportsmanship.

‘‘He made a big mistake so he paid a big price for it.''

Bassi said Kumar had provoked Fkiri by pulling his neck during the bout.

‘‘This is a tactic of wrestling, I told him before he went on that's what's is going to happen and just be calm,'' he said.

Australian team official Leonid Zaslavsky said Fkiri's behaviour was inexcusable, but partly understandable.

‘‘The other side was sort of to blame, if you like,'' he said.

‘‘There were some things the other side was doing that wasn't exactly by the rules either, he obviously lost his cool.

‘‘Maybe it was a ploy by the other side to upset him, I don't know, he's not normally like that.''

Fkiri, who wrestled for Tunisia at the 2000 Sydney Games, was too distraught to speak to the media following the incident.

Earlier, Former Iranian wrestler Hassan Shahsavan has won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal for Australia in the 74kg Greco-Roman class.

The 34-year-old Beijing Olympian beat Pakistan's Muhammad Ali in two sets, before giving Nigerian Perefegha Kiribein the same treatment in the repechage final to claim third spot on the podium at the Indira Gandhi Complex in Delhi on Tuesday.