Indian Olympic Association calls for emergency meeting with wrestlers


The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has called for an immediate meeting with the protesting wrestlers, who have levelled charges of sexual harassment of women wrestlers by the WFI president and its coaches and mismanagement in the functioning of the federation, sources informed on Friday.

The meeting, as per the sources, will be held at 5.45 in the evening.

The IOA will conduct the meeting virtually with the wrestlers to discuss the allegations levelled by the ace grapplers as well as other complaints and demands they have put forward.

Saying they were fighting against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Commonwealth Games gold medallist Bajrang Punia appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur to hear their demands.

Several ace wrestlers of the country, including Sakshee Malikkh, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Ravi Dahiya, are participating in the sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, which began on Wednesday.

Wrestlers have levelled charges of sexual harassment of women wrestlers by the WFI president and its coaches and of mismanagement in the functioning of the federation. They have also demanded a complete overhaul of the federation.

The WFI president Brij Bhushan Saran Singh has refuted all allegations and claimed he will expose the ‘political conspiracy’ in a press conference in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda today.

On Thursday some wrestlers had a meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur which stretched till early this morning.

However, according to sources the meeting remained inconclusive and the minister is likely to meet with grapplers again today at his residence.

Meanwhile, Vinesh, Bajrang, Sakshee, Ravi and Deepak on Friday wrote to PT Usha, president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on the ‘sexual harassment’ complaints against WFI chairman Brij Bhushan Saran Singh.

In a letter to the IOA president, the star grapplers accused the WFI chairman of sexual exploitation and financial irregularities. 

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