India suspends newly-elected wrestling body after top athletes protest

3 months ago 61

The suspension comes days aft a caller president replaced the aged caput who was charged with sexually harassing wrestlers.

Published On 24 Dec 2023

India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has suspended the newly-elected governing assemblage of the scandal-hit wrestling federation, accusing it of ignoring rules by hastily announcing championships.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has “been instructed to suspend each its activities until further orders”, the ministry said successful a connection connected Sunday.

Following the suspension, the ministry asked the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to make a impermanent sheet to govern the WFI, Indian media reports said.

“Taking enactment of the compelling existent concern arising retired of the power and power of the WFI’s erstwhile bureau bearers, superior concerns person arisen astir the governance and integrity of the WFI,” said the letter, according to the reports.

The suspension of WFI’s governing assemblage comes days aft Sanjay Singh was elected to regenerate his adjacent state Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a parliamentarian charged with sexually harassing women wrestlers.

Many of India’s apical wrestlers had led a noisy sit-in protest successful New Delhi earlier this year, demanding Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s removal aft the allegations came to airy successful January.

The accused 66-year-old subordinate of parliament from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denied each charges and claimed helium was the unfortunate of a conspiracy to unit him retired of parliament.

A transgression lawsuit against him is ongoing and could spot him sentenced to 5 years successful situation if recovered guilty.

Wrestling is hugely fashionable successful agrarian bluish India, and prima athletes saw a wellspring of nationalist support.

Earlier this week, apical pistillate wrestler Sakshi Malik, besides 1 of the accusers successful the lawsuit against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, addressed an affectional quality conference, announcing her decision to quit the athletics implicit Sanjay Singh’s election.

On Friday, Bajrang Punia, the archetypal Indian wrestler to triumph 4 satellite title medals, announced helium volition return his Padma Shri – India’s 4th highest civilian grant – successful protestation implicit the election.

The caller president defeated Anita Sheoran, who won a golden medal astatine the 2010 Commonwealth Games and supported the run by athletes against his predecessor. She is besides a witnesser successful the case.

The WFI predetermination was expected to person ended the federation’s suspension by United World Wrestling, the planetary governing body, but that is present improbable with the government’s order.

Sanjay Singh won the ballot connected Thursday, and soon after, helium met with the erstwhile caput earlier announcing that the nationalist inferior wrestling championships would beryllium held earlier the extremity of the year.

“The actions smack of implicit arbitrariness connected the portion of the caller president,” the connection by the Sports Ministry said, adding that the caller committee “appears to beryllium successful implicit power of erstwhile bureau bearers”.



Al Jazeera and quality agencies

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