The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has formed a seven-member committee to probe wrestlers’ allegations of sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Boxing great and Olympic medallist Mary Kom will be the chairman of the panel. Indian Weightlifting Federation of India (IWLF) president Sahdev Yadav, archer Dola Banerjee, Olympic medal winning wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt are part of the panel among others. The committee will also have two lawyers. The panel will first talk with the protesting wrestlers and then the WFI before reaching any conclusion.
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The allegations of sexual harassment by WFI coachs and its president have been made by some of the country’s top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Dahiya.
The decision to form the panel was taken during IOA’s emergency Executive Council meeting which was attended by the likes of Abhinav Bindra, Yogeshwar along with IOA president PT Usha and joint secretary Kalyan Chaubey. Shiva Keshvan was special invitee in meeting.
This comes after the agitating wrestlers had earlier in the day reached out to the IOA, demanding formation of an enquiry committee to probe the allegations against Singh, a day after threatening to lodge multiple FIRs against the WFI chief.
In a letter addressed to IOA president, the wrestlers alleged financial misappropriation (of funds) on part of the WFI and claimed that the coaches and sports science staff at the national camp are “absolutely incompetent”.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will issue a statement on allegations of sexual harassment against him after the sports body’s Annual General Meeting on January 22, his son Prateek said on Friday.
The WFI chief had called for a press conference in his native Gonda this morning. However, after delaying it for seven hours, his son, who is a BJP MLA from Gonda Sadar constituency, came on a stage to make the announcement.
Addressing the media, Prateek said, “I am here on behalf of my father and I would like to inform you all that we will issue a written statement only after the AGM of WFI on January 22.
“We want to discuss the issue with members from all across India and then take any decision. Whatever decision we will take, we will inform the press through a written statement,” he said.
With PTI inputs
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