19 Jan 2023

Vinesh Phogat's Allegations Against Wrestling Federation Of India President: Sports Ministry Seeks Reply

New Delhi: The Sports Ministry has sought an answer to the allegations leveled by Indian wrestlers against Brij Bhushan Singh, President of the Wrestling Federation of India. WFI has been asked to give a detailed reply in 72 hours. 

The Women's National Wrestling Coaching Camp to be held in Lucknow has been cancelled.

Vinesh Phogat had on Wednesday alleged that Wresting Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been sexually exploiting women wrestlers for many years. 

Vinesh, who has been at loggerheads with WFI since the Tokyo Olympic Games, also claimed that several coaches at the national camp in Lucknow have also exploited women wrestlers, adding that there are a few women at the camp who approach wresters at the behest of the WFI President.

She, however, clarified that she herself never faced such exploitation, but claimed that one victim was present at the 'dharna' they began at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday.

Wrestlers sitting on dharna

In fact, Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik, World Championship medalist Vinesh Phogat and Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Bajrang Punia are sitting on a dharna at Jantar Mantar. There is a demand for the removal of Brij Bhushan Sharan and the coach, President of the Wrestling Federation of India, on the matter of sexual exploitation of women wrestlers.

'10-20 women wrestlers have told me about sexual exploitation'

"I know at least 10-20 women wrestlers who have told me about the sexual exploitation they faced at the hands of (the) WFI President. They told me their stories. I can't take their names now, but I can definitely reveal the names if we get to meet the Prime Minister and the Home Minister of the country," Vinesh said addressing the media after staging a four-hour dharna at Jantar Mantar.

'Received death threats from WFI officials'

Vinesh Phogat says that she has also received death threats from WFI officials. He said that many female wrestlers had also complained about this before. Some coaches posted in national camps have been sexually harassing women wrestlers for years. Bajrang Punia said that the President of Wrestling Federation uses abusive words.

WFI President rejects charges

WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh clarified that all these allegations are baseless and he rejects these allegations. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, BJP MP from Kaisarganj Lok Sabha in Uttar Pradesh, said that if someone proves such allegations, he can be hanged.

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