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'We will have to restart path of protest': Sakshi, Bajrang accuse WFI of using 'setting' to get ban lifted by UWW

4 months ago 80

 Sakshi, Bajrang accuse WFI of using 'setting' to get ban lifted by UWW

File image of Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, PTI

Rio Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik and wrestler Bajrang Punia on Wednesday accused the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Sanjay Singh, a close aide of former federation head and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, of using “setting” to get the ban lifted by United World Wrestling (UWW). The UWW on Tuesday lifted the provisional ban it imposed on WFI last August after the federation failed to hold elections in time. The international body, however, has asked WFI to take no discriminatory action against wrestlers who protest against former head Brij Bhushan who has been accused of sexual harassment.

UWW’s decision has not gone down well with Sakshi, Punia and Vinesh Phogat, who were the faces of the protest against Brij Bhushan and WFI.

Sakshi has said that the wrestlers will be forced to restart the protest if Brij Bhushan’s aide are allowed to run the WFI.

“We request the government not to force us to protest again,” Sakshi Malik said in a video message on Wednesday. “We came to know yesterday that Sanjay Singh had done some setting with UWW to get the suspension lifted. Brij Bhushan and Sanjay Singh have left no stone unturned to show that they are above the law

“Our protest has only been suspended. I might have retired from wrestling but I not will tolerate Brij Bhushan or his people running the federation and harassing women.”

“In the next 2-4 days, we will contact the people associated with our agitation and chalk out the future course of action. I urge the government (to ensure) that Brij Bhushan or his group are barred forever from (running) the federation and some good people are entrusted the task to do the job. Otherwise, we will have to restart the path of protest,” Sakshi added in he video.

Sakshi also made accusations that the Sanjay Singh misused WFI’s funds by conducting parallel nationals.

“The (IOA-constituted) ad-hoc committee conducted the senior nationals in a very professional manner (in Jaipur earlier this month). We welcomed that. Brij Bhushan and Sanjay Singh started breaking all the rules by conducting parallel nationals (in Pune) and threatening the coaches and referees and misusing the federation’s money,” she added.

Punia, meanwhile, said that the government has broken the promise that nobody from Brij Bhushan’s family or his associates would govern the sport. A couple of days back, Karan Bhushan Singh, Brij Bhushan’s son, was elected as the president of Uttar Pradesh wrestling.

“Just 2-3 days back, Brij Bhushan’s son became the president of the UP wrestling body despite him saying saying no one from his family will come into wrestling administration. The government had promised that Brij Bhushan or anyone of his relatives or associates will not govern the sport,” Punia said.

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