New Delhi: In a major setback for the Indian wrestlers participating in global contests they will not be holding the national flag as the United World Wrestling (UWW) suspended the country’s membership.
“The United World Wrestling (UWW) communicated to the ad-hoc panel on Wednesday night that WFI has been suspended for not holding elections to its executive committee,” an IOA source told PTI.
The International wrestling body United World Wrestling (UWW) had earlier asked the ad-hoc panel to hold the elections of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) - currently under the control of BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is facing a number of charges including molestation and sexual harassment of wrestlers. The Delhi Police in its chargesheet filed against Singh said it has enough evidence to prosecute the high-profile BJP MP.
While asking the ad-hoc panel to hold WFI election, the United World Wrestling had also slammed the treatment meted out to the wrestlers protesting against the BJP MP and their detention following a scuffle with the Delhi Police.
The WFI was supposed to hold elections in June. The WFI postponed elections as it faces unprecedented protests from various circles, including from the wrestlers.
As per the new schedule, the WFI elections were supposed to be held on August 12 for 15 positions within the Wrestling Federation of India. The elections however were postponed again.
According to the reports, UWW had given a deadline of 45 days to WFI after its previous failure to conduct the elections, the last one in April this year. When the WFI failed to meet the deadline set by the UWW, its membership was suspended.
This is the third time the WFI membership has been suspended. The WFI was suspended first in January and then again in May after India's top wrestlers protested against its functioning and alleged its then president Brij Bhushan sexually harassed female wrestlers.
Following the indefinite suspension of its membership, the Indian wrestlers will now have to compete as ‘neutral athletes’ at the Olympic-qualifying World Championships starting September 16, 2023.
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