The Wrestling Federation of India has denied allegations of sexual harassment against its president Brij Bushan Sharan Singh and arbitrariness in its management following allegations by the country’s top wrestlers.
In its response to the Union Sports Ministry, which sought an explanation from the WFI on Wednesday after the country’s top wrestlers staged a sit-in at the capital’s Jantar Mantar area. Following the format’s complaint to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the apex sports body headed by PT Osha announced a seven-member committee headed by boxer MC Mary Kom to look into the allegations.
The ministry’s clarification, signed by WFI general secretary VN Prasud, rejected allegations of sexual harassment against the body’s president. (Sexual Harassment of WFI) Committee, which committee if any. Obliged to inquire according to law. However, so far no such complaint has been received by the protestors/wrestlers. Therefore, any such media reports received without a specific complaint can never be taken cognizance of by the Sexual Harassment Committee of WFI nor can such allegations be confirmed or confirmed except by denial. Let it be said that it is a kind of motivated, biased, baseless, lie. And false accusations only with the intention of damaging the President, WFI or WFI coaches.
The WFI insists that it has always acted in the best interest of wrestlers and the country and its work has promoted Indian wrestling nationally and internationally. “… and for the records of this ministry it is not possible without the fair, supportive, clean and rigorous management of WFI…,” it says.
Listing the national events organized by the WFI, it states that “… the following national wrestling events to be held in 2022 also speak for the fair, supportive, clean and strict management of the WFI and Clearly unsubstantiated but conjectures, conjectures, prove malice. Media-based, malicious, baseless allegations against the management of WFI…”.
The response stated that “WFI’s setting management is based on wrestling and not centered on the wrestlers except to help and support the wrestlers… and does not allow the whims and wishes of anyone including the coaches or the wrestlers. Neither one is allowed as the management of WFI is committed to the promotion of wrestling… WFI has no room for any arbitrary and mismanagement except as per policy, rules, regulations, guidelines etc. with wrestling. To look after and/or act in the best interest of fellow Wrestlers, WFI or Government of India or any international organization.
A rebellion of top wrestlers, Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya and Sakshi Malik, and World Championship medalists Vinesh Phogat and Deepak Punia held two meetings with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and sent a formal complaint against Singh for sexual harassment and other allegations. To the IOA
The protest was withdrawn on Friday night when the IOA announced a committee to look into the complaint.