Sports Ministry announces ad-hoc panel to conduct wrestling body elections amid protests

- April 24, 2023
| By : Navneet Singh |

The ad-hoc committee will oversee the day-to-day functioning of WFI including the selection of athletes and making entries for the participation of players in international events till a new executive committee takes charge

Wrestlers Protest

The sports ministry announced on Monday that an ad-hoc panel of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will conduct the elections for the Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) office-bearers.
The elections will be held 45 days after the establishment of the ad-hoc panel, according to the ministry.
The WFI had scheduled fresh elections for its executive committee on May 7, but the sports ministry has declared that date null and void.
This decision followed protests by India’s top wrestlers, including world and Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia, who accused WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh of sexually harassing female athletes during the national camp.
India’s two-time Olympian Vinesh Phogat and Rio Olympic Games bronze medalist Sakshi Malik were among the other high-profile wrestlers who participated in the protest.
The wrestlers have also filed a complaint with Delhi Police against the WFI chief, but have taken their case to the Supreme Court since the police have yet to register an FIR.
“We will come to know about the court proceeding by Tuesday,” one of the wrestlers sitting at protest told Patriot.
This is not the first time that Indian wrestlers have protested against the WFI’s functioning. In January, several top wrestlers held a similar protest, prompting the sports ministry to temporarily suspend the WFI and establish an Oversight Committee to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against Singh.

The Oversight Committee submitted its report to the ministry, but it is yet to be made public.