The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) formed a committee of three members for the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Wednesday, December 27. Bhupendra Singh Bajwa has been appointed as the Chairman, MM Somaya as a member, and Manjusha Kanwar as another member of the ad-hoc committee created by the Indian Olympic Association upon the directive of the Ministry of Sports following the suspension of the new body of WFI. This committee will oversee various tasks and activities of the WFI.
These include player selection, sending names of players for international tournaments, organizing sporting events, supervising, and managing bank accounts.
The Sports Ministry suspended WFI on Sunday in a strongly worded statement on Sunday, December 24. The ministry argued that the newly elected board under the presidency of Sanjay Singh was still under the influence of former office-bearers, who were suspended after allegations of sexual harassment.
The turbulence surrounding WFI has been continuing since early 2023. The situation unfolded when numerous prominent wrestlers protested against the then-president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Sakshee Malikkh Hits Out at WFI
WFI awaited the appointment of a new leader for several months, leading to the election of Sanjay Singh as the new president.
However, the change in leadership brought no relief to the distressed wrestlers. They alleged that Sanjay was closely associated with the former president, Brij Bhushan. According to the athletes, Sanjay was not only Brij Bhushan’s business accomplice but also his close confidant.
Sanjay's appointment was followed by Malikkh retiring in protest against the newly-elected WFI body, Bajrang Punia leaving his Padma Shri Award on the pavement of Kartavya Path in New Delhi, and Vinesh Phogat vowing to return her Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards as a mark of protest.