Carmel High School wrestlers forfeit matches for using weight loss suits

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Eight Carmel High School wrestlers were forced to forfeit matches for 19 competitions this season after it was learned they were using sauna or sweat suits to lose weight during practice.

The suits, which are rubber, vinyl or plastic, are designed to make the wrestlers sweat profusely and lose weight rapidly to qualify for a weight class. The suits were deemed unsafe and banned for use in high school and college wrestling. Rule changes were made after three college wrestlers died in a six-week span in 1997 because of strenuous weight-cutting workouts.

“Carmel High School self-reported violations of the National Federation of State High School Associations wrestling weight loss rules by several of its wrestlers,” Indiana High School Athletic Association assistant commissioner Robert Faulkens stated. “The violations occurred over several weeks during the regular season, and the penalties for those violations are match forfeitures by the individuals involved, which affects their win-loss record and negatively impacts their seed within the sectional bracket.”

The Greyhounds will compete in the Frankfort Sectional Jan. 26.

Carmel Clay Schools Supt. Michael Beresford said in a statement that once the information was brought to the school’s attention, the district investigated and immediately self-reported the rule violation.

“We are disappointed that this occurred under the supervision of our coaches and appropriate corrective action has been taken,” Beresford said. “We remain committed to providing our student-athletes with a safe and positive environment that promotes good character and sportsmanship.”

A Carmel Clay Schools spokeswoman said there would be no comment on whether the coaches would face any disciplinary action as the district doesn’t comment on personnel matters.

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