Sports Ministry Breaks Silence Over Wrestlers Protesting Against WFI Over Alleged Death Threats & Sexual Harassment

Image Courtesy: PTI

Union Sports Ministry has cancelled the training camp of women wrestlers planned for Lucknow due to the serious allegations made by wrestlers against the national federation.

A number of ace wrestlers protested at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, in the morning on Wednesday against WFI for making trials mandatory for all wrestlers, regardless of their status. Vinesh Phogat, the first woman wrestler from the country to win gold at both the Asian and Commonwealth Games, also accused WFI chief Brij Bhushan and other coaches of sexually harassing female wrestlers.

A 72-hour deadline has been set for the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to explain all the charges.

“Taking cognizance of the protest staged by wrestlers, including Olympic and CWG medalists, in Delhi today and a press conference in which wrestlers have levelled serious charges of sexual harassment of women wrestlers by the President and coaches of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and of mismanagement in the functioning of the federation, the Sports Ministry has sought an explanation from WFI and directed it to furnish a reply within the next 72 hours on the allegations made,” read an official statement from Sports Authority of India (SAI).

The Sports Ministry has also advised the WFI that if clarification is not provided within the stipulated time, it will take action against the federation in accordance with the National Sports Development Code, 2011.

“Since the matter pertains to the well-being of athletes, the Ministry has taken a very serious view of the matter” stated the government’s communication to the WFI.

In order to accommodate 41 wrestlers and 13 coaches until the camp ends on Wednesday, the Director of the Lucknow center is set to provide all facilities.

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