World wrestling’s apex body United World Wrestling (UWW) has lifted the temporary suspension imposed on India but has also directed the national federation not to take discriminatory action against protesting wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik. UWW had suspended the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on August 23 last year due to its failure to conduct elections on time.
Wrestlers should be selected without any discrimination
The UWW Bureau met on February 9 to review the suspension and discuss other matters and after considering all the facts, the decision to lift the suspension was taken, the world body said in a statement. The statement said, WFI must immediately give a written guarantee to UWW that wrestlers will be selected without any discrimination to participate in all WFI competitions, especially the Olympic Games trials and other major national and international competitions.
World Wrestling instructed not to take action against protesting wrestlers
The players who will not be discriminated against include three wrestlers who had protested against the alleged wrongdoings of the former president (Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh). Wrestlers had protested against the former WFI president by accusing him of sexual harassment and corruption. After this the Indian Federation was suspended.
Indian wrestlers will now be able to take part in the competition, suggested to hold re-election
Lifting the ban means that Indian wrestlers will now be able to play under the country’s flag in the next competition of the world body. The world body also asked the WFI to conduct re-election of its Athletes Commission. The statement said, this commission can include active players or those players who have not retired for more than four years. Voters will be only players. These elections can be organized during any senior national championship but the elections will have to be held from July 1, 2024.
The organization will talk to the wrestlers
The world body said that it will be in touch with the wrestlers and will talk to them about the developments in the coming days. WFI elections were held in December last year in which Sanjay Singh, close to the former president, was elected the new chief. However, the Sports Ministry suspended the federation after a few days citing violation of the National Sports Code. After this, an ad-hoc committee was formed to run wrestling in the country.