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IOA forms 7-member panel, headed by Mary Kom, to investigate sexual harassment allegations against WFI president | Other Sports News


NEW DELHI: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Friday formed a seven-member committee, headed by six-time world champion female boxer MC. Mary Komto investigate allegations of sexual harassment against Indian Wrestling Federation (WFI) chairperson, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singhwho camped in his Gonda constituency in Kaiserganj of Uttar Pradesh following an unprecedented sit-in at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar by the country’s top wrestlers demanding his immediate resignation.
Wrestlers’ Rally: As It Happened
In addition to IOA athletes committee chairperson Kom, other members of the committee include IOA general secretary (female) Alaknanda Ashok, outstanding athlete (SOM) Yogeshwar Dutt and Dola Banerjee, treasurer Sahdev Yadav and a male and female attorney respectively. Beijing Olympics gold medal-winning shooter, Abhinav Bindra, joined the virtual IOA emergency board meeting as a member of the International Olympic Committee athletes’ committee (IOC).

The members were tasked with holding dialogues with the agitated wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia, among others, and review allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation against Singh. Members also want to meet victims of harassment if protesting wrestlers want to share their names with the committee in strict confidentiality.
No timeframe has been established for the committee to submit its report to IOA chair PT Usha and the executive council (EC). The members will also try to convince the wrestlers to stop protesting until the investigation into the matter is not complete.
The IOA has discussed that it has no authority to dissolve WFI at the request of the wrestlers and that it can only be done by the sport’s global governing body — United World Wrestling, which has was able to conduct an independent investigation into the matter after approaching the wrestlers with whom the sexual harassment allegations had occurred through its ethics committee. The EC considers that it can only terminate its membership of WFI as an affiliate.

Wrestlers' protests: WWE wrestler Kavita Dalal says she turned to professional wrestling due to harassment

Wrestlers’ protests: WWE wrestler Kavita Dalal says she turned to professional wrestling due to harassment

However, EC members expressed displeasure at the way wrestlers openly expressed their grievances instead of discussing it in advance with the sport ministry, IOA and Sports Authority of India (SAI). In addition, members were not satisfied with the timing of the protest just two months before the WFI elections scheduled for March.
Earlier in the day, the wrestlers wrote a detailed letter to Usha reiterating their demand for Singh’s dismissal and a thorough investigation into his allegations of sexual misconduct with international campers. family. The development comes a day after Usha extended her support to wrestlers opposed to Singh’s continued presidency of the federation.
In the letter jointly signed by Bajrang, Sakshi, Vinesh, Ravi and Deepak, the wrestlers inform Usha that they fear for their lives from Singh and, if he is not fired, the careers of the wrestlers. Young animals sitting on dharna with them will be ruined. The third day in a row at Jantar Mantar will come to an end.

“We wrestlers needed a lot of courage to rally and oppose the WFI president. We fear for our lives. If he is not fired then the careers of all young wrestlers. joined this dharna will come to an end.” Vinesh was harassed and mentally tortured by the WFI president after she missed her Olympic medal in Tokyo. She almost had suicidal thoughts,” the letter read.
“We will not budge until the WFI president is fired. We would like to reiterate that contrary to perception, there is NO involvement of any political party or industrialists,” it added.
The wrestlers set four conditions for the IOA to end their rally. “Our request is to immediately appoint a commission to investigate sexual harassment complaints; the WFI chair to resign; to dissolve the WFI and that a new committee should be created to run the affairs. of the WFI in consultation with the wrestlers.”
“In addition, there has been financial embezzlement on the part of the WFI. Contract payments have been agreed with a number of high-level wrestlers over the past few years through funding received from TATA Motors. The payments This is only partially done by WFI.
“The coaches and sports science staff that the WFI president puts in the national camps are completely incompetent and unworthy. They are just informants and they create the atmosphere. very bad in the national camp,” the letter states.

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