Wrestlers’ Protest: WFI should hand over all documents to ad-hoc panel, says IOA-Sports News , Firstpost

Leading wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia wear black bands while observing a ‘Black Day’ in their protest against WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. PTI

New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has asked the secretary general of WFI to hand over the official documents including financial instruments to its ad-hoc panel, making it clear the outgoing office bearers shall have no role in the running of the federation.

The WFI said it has no issues in obeying the IOA order since they were already co-operating with the authorities.

The IOA had formed an ad-hoc committee to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and also conduct due polls of the NSF.

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The ad-hoc committee was formed by the IOA at the behest of the Sports Ministry after several top wrestlers returned to the protest site at Jantar Mantar here last month, demanding the arrest of WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for allegedly sexually harassing women grapplers.

The IOA issued on Friday issued a letter saying that all administrative, financial and regulatory roles will now be performed by the ad-hoc committee.

“In pursuance of the above (order of the IOA dated May 12, 2023), it is hereby clarified that the Ad Hoc Committee appointed by the IOA for the discipline of Wrestling shall carry out all the duties and responsibilities of the National Sports Federation (WFI) as enunciated in the Sports Code.

“With the Ad hoc Committee being in existence, the outgoing office bearers of the WFI shall have no role with respect to the exercise of any function of the NSF for discipline of Wrestling and shall not perform any administrative, financial, regulatory or any other role,” said the IOA letter, which has also been marked to the ministry and the WFI secretary general.

It said that outgoing office bearers should immediately hand over all necessary documents, including website login and participation details of Indian wrestlers, among others to the ad-hoc committee.

“The outgoing office bearers of the WFI are directed to hand over all official documents, including website management, financial instruments, login details for making entries for the participation of Indian sportspersons in international events, etc., to the Ad hoc Committee, forthwith,” the IOA letter added.

WFI secretary general VN Prasood said they have no issues in sharing all the relevant documents with the IOA panel.

“It’s normal procedure. When the oversight committee was formed, then also we had given them all the necessary filed through our staff. Now this ad hoc panel is there and we can give them whatever documents they need to manage WFI,” Prasood told PTI.

“It’s not an issue. Our term is already over and the IOA and the government is managing, it’s normal procedure to ask for these documents.” The ad-hoc committee has already finalised the rules and regulations related to conduct the selection trials for picking the Indian teams for the 2023 U-17 and U-23 Asian Wrestling Championships.

The trials will be held in Patiala from 17 May.

The Asian Championships for Under-17 and Under-23 wresters will be held in Bishkek from 10-18 June.

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