Union Sports Ministry has suspended the newly elected elected body of Wrestling Federation of India after the recently elected president Sanjay Singh announced U-15 and U-20 nationals to take place in Nandini Nagar, Gonda (UP) before the end of this year, reported news agency ANI on Sunday.
“We have not terminated WFI, they just need to follow due process and rules while functioning as a sports body,” reported PTI quoting a source from the sports ministry.
Singh, a close associate of former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, has been elected as the president of the wrestling body on Wednesday.
Shortly after Singh’s appointment to the wrestling body, top wrestler and Olympic champion Sakshi Malik announced that she has quit the sport after she, along with other wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat led prolonged protests earlier this year demanding probe into allegations of sexual harrasment against Brij Bhushan.
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“We slept for 40 days on the roads and a lot of people from several parts of the country came to support us. If Brij Bhushan Singh’s business partner and a close aide is elected as the president of WFI, I quit wrestling,” Malik said addressing a press conference.
A day later, Punia announced his decision to return his Padma Shri award in protest against Singh’s apppointment.
Addressing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punia expressed his concerns about the current state of wrestling governance in India.
In the letter, Punia said: “Punia stated, “The struggle lasted for 40 days. In these 40 days, one female wrestler retreated (from her accusation and the case). We were under immense pressure. Our protest site was dismantled, and we were restricted from demonstrating. When this happened, we were perplexed about our next steps. We thought of immersing our medals in river Ganga but our farmers and coaches urged us not to do so.”