Sports Ministry seeks explanation from WFI over allegations by wrestlers, asks to reply in next 72 hours

Phogat was addressing the media on behalf of the women wrestlers who were allegedly exploited.

WFI | Vinesh Phogat | Sakshi Malik |
The protest took place at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar against the Federation and Singh, who has denied these allegations. (Image Source: IE)

The Union Sports Ministry of India has sought an explanation from the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and asked them to furnish a reply within the next 72 hours over recent allegations leveled by wrestlers against national federation President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

In a shocking move, India’s top wrestlers including Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia and world championship medallist Vinesh Phogat, staged a protest on Wednesday against the “dictatorship” of Singh.

“Women wrestlers have been sexually harassed at national camps by coaches and also the WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Sharma,” Vinesh Phogat said, reported The Indian Express.

Phogat was addressing the media on behalf of the women wrestlers who were allegedly exploited. The wrestlers got together at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on January 18 where they staged a protest. She further said that some of the coaches appointed at national camps were sexually harassing women wrestlers for years, and the WFI chief is also involved, reported IE.

Earlier in the day, Vinesh in a tweet had slammed the federation saying that a sportsperson only wants respect but if the federation does not support them, then their morale breaks down.

Many other wrestlers joined the protest including Rio Olympics medallist Sakshi Malik, world championship medallist Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Satyawart Malik, and Jitender Kinha among others. Malik also took to her Twitter account and voiced her opinion regarding the WFI.

Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal has issued a notice against WFI Chief Singh, reported IE, and asked the Deputy Commissioner of Police and Sports Secretary to do a proper investigation and provide further details on the matter.

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First published on: 19-01-2023 at 10:26 IST
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