Famous Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, along with Vinesh Phogat and others, have been staging a sit-in protest for two days at Jantar Mantar here against the WFI president, accusing him of sexual exploitation and intimidation and demanded that the federation be dissolved.
“As a female and former athlete and currently a sports administrator, I am deeply concerned and disturbed by the latest developments in Indian wrestling, where a section of athletes have brought serious allegations against a senior sports official,” Usha said in a statement. statement issued by the Indian Olympic Association.
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On Thursday, a team of wrestlers, including Bajrang, Vinesh, Anshu Malik, Sakshi and her husband Satyawrat Kadiyan, met with government officials and discussed their issues with Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi, SAI Chief Executive Sandip Pradhan and the Assistant Secretary (Sports) Kunal. .
During the hour-long meeting, the wrestlers were told to end their protest and assured that their grievances would be addressed.
Wrestlers protest: Center will do everything for the good of the athletes, says Anurag Thakur
However, the wrestlers wanted concrete and immediate action and decided to continue their protest unless the WFI president was removed from office and the national federation dissolved along with the entire state. struggle country associations.
Usha said she had full confidence in the government and urged all National Sports Federations (NSFs) to cooperate in the matter.
“Although this whole episode is a matter of great concern, I am extremely reassured by the rapid response of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, which has requested an explanation from the federation concerned within the next 72 hours.
“I also have full confidence in the Government of India, which I am sure will take the right step in the right direction in this regard. However, as the President of the AIO, I sincerely hope that the athletes, under no circumstances, will be disenfranchised,” she said.
“The AIO also urges all National Sports Federations (NSFs) to cooperate fully with all investigative agencies for the benefit of Indian sports. The AIO will also do everything to protect the interests of women athletes,” Usha added. .