Former Olympic Medalist Sakshi Malik call it quits from Wrestling

Sakshi Malik
Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik after WFI election. Source: Shashi Shekhar Kashyap

The Rio Olympic Bronze medalist Sakshi Malik quits from Wrestling. She took this decision as a protest against Sanjay Singh, Brij Bhushan’s close aid. He who won the Wrestling Federation of India(WFI) election on 21 December. Earlier Sports Minister Anurag Thakur promised the wrestlers that the government will make sure either Brij Bhushan or any of his associates won’t be allowed to contest in WFI elections.

Back in January earlier this year, Wrestlers led a protest against the BJP parliamentarian Brij Bhushan Singh, then WFI Chief, accusing him of sexual harassment towards female wrestlers on multiple occasions.

Sakshi Malik breaks down in tears

Sakshi Malik was seen walking away from the Press Conference in tears after making the shocking announcement while putting her shoes on the table.

“We fought this battle from our heart. In the end, we slept for 40 days on the roads but I would like to thank the people of our country who came to support us during the protests earlier this year,” Sakshi said.

But if a person like Brij Bhushan, his business partner and a close aide is elected as the president of WFI, I quit wrestling. We wanted a female president but that did not happen.”

Did Government fail to address Wrestlers concerns?

Bajrang Punia who was also a key member in the protest along with Vinesh Phogat were also present along with Sakshi.

“It is unfortunate that the government did not stand by its word that no Brij Bhushan loyalist would contest the WFI polls,” Punia said.

Vinesh Phogat added saying, “Upcoming women wrestlers will also face exploitation.”

Sakshi Malik
Wrestlers during protest against Brij Bhushan Singh. Source: Sakshi Malik on X
Though government did not allow Brij Bhushan son Prateek nor son-in-law Vishal Singh to contest the election, the Wrestlers were let down seeing Brij Bhushan talking to the media celebrating his associate’s win as his own. Also, the wrestlers feel that Sanjay Singh will be a proxy of Brij Bhushan’s mentality and the upcoming female talent will face more harassment.

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