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Sakshi Malik threatens to quit wrestling if Brij Bhushan-aide becomes WFI president

Sakshi Malik threatens to quit wrestling if Brij Bhushan-aide becomes WFI president

The result left the wrestlers in a lurch who threw their weight behind sportsperson Anita Sheoran

Indian Wrestlers on Thursday cut a sorry figure as the Wrestling Federation of India’s election produced a result that left the wrestlers in tears. Former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s aide Sanjay Singh was elected as the new president of the Wrestling Federation of India. The result left the wrestlers in a lurch who threw their weight behind sportsperson Anita Sheoran. After the results were announced, India’s ace wrestler Shakshi Malik threatened to quit wrestling if Sanjay Singh assumed the WFI President’s post.

15 posts including the President, Treasurer, Secretary-General, and Senior Vice-President were up for grabs in the capital. The two-way race for the presidential post of the WFI was between former Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Anita Sheoran and Sanjay Singh. Singh had served as the vice-president of Uttar Pradesh Wrestling Federation.

Born and raised in Haryana, Anita Sheoran was contesting from Odisha. She was vying to become India’s first woman president of the national wrestling body. Anita had the support of top-tier wrestlers such as Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and Vinesh Phogat. The wrestlers had taken to the streets to protest against outgoing WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Singh was accused of sexual harassment and stalking of women wrestlers.

Sanjay Singh has been a close associate of Brijbhushan Singh. He had declared before the electionthat he will revive the sport of wrestling. Wrestling has produced several Olympic medal winners for India in recent times. 

Insidesport

However, as the result came out, Sanjay Singh emerged as the clear winner, leaving the wrestlers in dismay.

Shakshi Malik distraught

In a press conference on Thursday, Sakshi Malik threatened to quit wrestling if Sanjay Singh became the WFI President.

“We slept for 40 days on the roads. A lot of people from several parts of the country came to support us. If Brij Bhushan Singh’s business partner and a close aide is elected as the president of WFI, I quit wrestling,” she said while placing her wrestling shoes on the table in a powerful visual message.

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