Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has to give response to the Sports Ministry of India within 72 hours over sexual harassment allegations, following the protest of some of India’s top wrestlers.
A press release read,
“Taking cognizance of the protest staged by wrestlers, including Olympic and CWG medalists, in Delhi today and a press conference in which wrestlers have levelled serious charges of sexual harassment of women wrestlers by the President and coaches of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and of mismanagement in the functioning of the federation, the Sports Ministry has sought an explanation from WFI and directed it to furnish a reply within the next 72 hours on the allegations made.”
The Ministry also stated that,
“since the matter pertains to the well-being of athletes, the Ministry has taken a very serious view of the matter.”
The Sports Ministry also said that if the WFI fails to provide a reply within the stipulated time, then it will proceed to initiate action against the federation in accordance with the provisions of the National Sports Development Code, 2011.
The Ministry also informed that the national wrestling camp which was supposed to begin on the 18th of January was canceled.
“Further, the Women National Wrestling Coaching camp, which was due to start in Sports Authority of India’s National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Lucknow from January 18, 2023 with 41 wrestlers and 13 coaches and support staff, has been cancelled. The Executive Director of NCOE Lucknow has been directed to provide all facilities to national campers who have already reported and likely to report, till the campers depart from the centre. Necessary information regarding the cancellation of the National Coaching Camp has also been sent to all campers.”
World Championship medalist, Vinesh Phogat alleged that the president of WFI, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, has been sexually exploiting women wrestlers. She requested the intervention of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister for his removal. She also stated that she herself has not faced such ill-treatment however she avouched that she received death threats at the behest of the WFI President.-- Advertisement --
Phogat said at the gathering in front of Jantar Mantar.
“I know at least 10-12 women wrestlers who have told me about the sexual exploitation they faced at the hands of (the) WFI President. They told me their stories. I can’t take their names now but I can definitely reveal the names if we get to meet the Prime Minister and the Home Minister of the country,”
WFI President, Singh denied all the allegations and said there was no veracity in wrestlers’ allegations against him.
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