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Wrestling Federation of India rejects allegations against President, calls protest a conspiracy


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Wrestling Federation of India rejected all allegations leveled against its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Saturday.

Like the president earlier, the reply also called the entire episode as a “conspiracy”. Country’s top wrestlers staged a sit-in protest against WFI chief at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi until the matter was resolved through meeting with sports minister late on Friday. The protesting wrestlers said they were satisfied with the assurance given by sports minister Anurag Thakur and would end their protest.

The reply the ministry had sought from WFI has been dispatched as well. According to the reply available with The New Indian Express, WFI rejected claims of mismanagement and sexual harassment levelled against Singh. Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, World Championships medallists Vinesh Phogat and Anshu Malik were among wrestlers who raised these issues plaguing the federation.

In its reply, WFI said that it “brings to the notice that neither the management nor any office bearers of WFI allows any arbitrariness and mismanagement of WFI nor prefers any undue acceptance of unreasonable request of any wrestlers or otherwise.”

The WFI maintained that their policies are transparent and are available on the website. The reply said that the wrestlers were acting under “vested interest”. 

It said that “hence, the media protesters may not be taken seriously, who have evidently acted more in personal interest or under undue pressure or under any larger bigger conspiracy to malign and defame the present sitting management of the WFI or President, WFI for vested interest only, for which the protesters wrestlers are accountable to explain for themselves, to the public as well as the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Department of Sports, Government of India particularly when mostly the protestors evidently are seen coming together from a particulars region/State of Haryana.”

ALSO READ | Day after being asked to step aside as WFI chief, Brij Bhushan Singh chief guest at UP wrestling event

The WFI said the protest is not in the best interest of wrestlers and will not help in promoting the sport.

“It would also be worth drawing attention that even the next election for the management of WFI is due in near future of the year 2023,” said the WFI. “All such reasons and facts relating to the aforesaid evidently points that the protest is not in the best interest of the Wrestlers nor for the promoting good Wrestling in India, but it has some personal as well as hidden agenda to dislodge the current fairest and strict management of WFI and also by conspiracy to create such adverse atmosphere in public to create undue pressure with a view to malign and defame thereby for their hidden agenda directly or indirectly.”

No sexual harassment complaint

The WFI also rejected allegations of sexual harassment saying that no such complaints were received by the internal complaints committee in which Sakshi is one of the five members.

“Any aggrieved person/wrestler may approach the said committee for its grievances if any, which committee is bound to inquire as per law. However, no such complaint of any such nature as has been aired by the protestors/wrestlers has been received so far,” said WFI. “Hence, any such media reports without any specific complaint received can never be taken note of by the WFI Sexual Harassment Committee nor such allegations can be affirmed nor confirmed except to be denied having been so made as a kind of motivated, biased, unfounded, untrue and false bald allegations solely with a view to harm the President, WFI or the Coaches of WFI.”

“The manner and method of protestors/wrestlers to air their allegation by sitting at Dharna and also dong Press Conference certainly is part of deeper and larger conspiracy for vested interest either by putting pressure on some weak wrestlers for vested interest or for gaining ground for themselves by maligning and defaming the management of WFI or its President or the Coaches and not otherwise,” said WFI.

“Not any single allegation of sexual harassment is accepted nor has ever been noticed nor found nor so far complained nor reported to sexual harassment committee to WFI, hence allegations to that effect is equally malicious and unfounded without being any truth…”

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