Deeply concerned and disturbed by wrestling fiasco: IOA chief Usha
New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president PT Usha on Thursday said she is “deeply concerned and disturbed” by the sexual harassment allegations by renowned wrestlers against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, saying the national Olympic body will do everything possible to safeguard the interest of the country’s women athletes.
Celebrated Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik besides Vinesh Phogat and others are staging a sit-in protest for the last two days at Jantar Mantar here against the WFI president, accusing him of sexual exploitation and intimidation and have demanded that the federation be disbanded.
“As a woman and former athlete and presently a sports administrator, I am deeply concerned and disturbed by the latest developments in Indian wrestling, where a section of the athletes has brought serious allegations against a senior official of the sport,” Usha said in a statement issued by the Indian Olympic Association.
On Thursday, a team of wrestlers, including Bajrang, Vinesh, Anshu Malik, Sakshi and her husband Satyawrat Kadiyan, met with the government officials and discussed their issues with Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi, Director General SAI Sandip Pradhan and Joint Secretary (Sports) Kunal.
During the one-hour meeting, the wrestlers were asked to end their protest and assured that their grievances will be addressed.
However, the wresters wanted a concrete and immediate action and decided to continue their protest unless the WFI president is removed and the national federation is disbanded along with all the state wrestling associations in the country.