Wrestlers vs WFI Controversy: The Sports Ministry has said that since the matter is related to the welfare of the athletes, the matter has been taken very seriously. If the WFI fails to respond within the stipulated time, the Sports Ministry said it will initiate further action against the federation as per the provisions of the National Sports Development Code, 2011.
New Delhi: Top wrestlers of the country including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, and Sakshi Malik have accused the President of the Wrestling Federation of India of sexual harassment and mental harassment. Wrestlers are still protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar demanding his removal from the post. The Union Sports Ministry has taken cognizance of this and has sought a response from the Wrestling Federation of India within 72 hours. According to the press release issued by the ministry, ‘Taking note of the protest by other wrestlers, including Olympic and Commonwealth Games medalists, in Delhi and a press conference in which the wrestlers attacked the Wrestling Federation of India President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and the coaches. Has made serious allegations of sexual harassment of women wrestlers and cited mismanagement in the functioning of the federation, The Sports Ministry has sought an explanation from the WFI and has directed it to respond within the next 72 hours to the allegations leveled by the wrestlers. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is a BJP MP from the Kaiserganj seat of UP.
The Sports Ministry also said that ‘since the matter is related to the welfare of the athletes, the Ministry has taken the matter very seriously’. If the WFI fails to respond within the stipulated time, the Sports Ministry said it will initiate further action against the federation as per the provisions of the National Sports Development Code, 2011. The ministry also mentioned that the national wrestling camp, which was to begin on January 18, has been canceled for the time being. The Sports Ministry said in its statement, ‘The Women’s National Wrestling Training Camp, which was to begin from January 18, 2023, at the Sports Authority of India’s National Center of Excellence (NCOE) in Lucknow with 41 wrestlers and 13 coaches and support staff, has been canceled. . The Executive Director, NCOE Lucknow has been directed to provide facilities to all those sportspersons, who have already reported or are likely to report, until the athletes have departed. Necessary information has also been sent to all the athletes regarding the cancellation of the national coaching camp.
Vinesh Phogat demanded intervention from Prime Minister and Home Minister
World Championship medalist and famous wrestler Vinesh Phogat alleged that WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been sexually exploiting women wrestlers for many years and sought the intervention of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to remove him. Phogat clarified that she had not faced such abuse, but claimed that she had received death threats at the behest of the WFI president. Vinesh Phogat, who sat on a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi along with other wrestlers including Bajrang Punia, and Sakshi Malik, said during a press briefing, ‘I know at least 10-12 women wrestlers who told me about sexual harassment at the hands of the WFI president. told about. He told me his stories. I cannot name them now, but I can definitely reveal the names if we meet the Prime Minister and the Home Minister of the country.
Wrestling Federation of India President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has dismissed the allegations leveled against India’s top wrestlers including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, and Sakshi Malik as baseless. He said, ‘There is no truth in the allegations of wrestlers against me. If even a single case of sexual harassment is proven, then I am ready to be hanged. He said, ‘Issues come to the fore when new rules and regulations are brought in. As far as these players are concerned, they are Olympic medalists. We also have cooperation in that. After the Olympics, he did not participate in a single national competition and is taking advantage of all the schemes of government.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, while clarifying the allegations, said, ‘When it comes to the national competition, his health deteriorates. His health gets better in international tournaments. Now the Federation has decided that to be the winner of any international tournament, he will have to play nationally. If they are sick, give them a medical certificate. The government was informed about this decision of the Federation. If we exclude those who are coming after fighting the National and take them to the camp who are not coming after fighting the National, then injustice will be done to others. He did not like this policy.