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Sports Ministry suspends Sanjay Singh-led Wrestling Federation of India over alleged violations

Sports Ministry suspends Sanjay Singh-led Wrestling Federation of India over alleged violations

Ministry Cites Hasty Announcements and Disregard for Existing Rules as Reasons for Suspension.

In a significant development, the Sports Ministry has suspended the newly elected Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) body led by Sanjay Singh, citing a series of alleged violations and hasty announcements. The ministry, in an official release on Sunday, 24 December, accused the WFI body of a complete disregard for established rules and regulations.

The primary contention raised by the ministry revolves around what it deems as “hasty” announcements related to national competitions. Sanjay Kumar Singh, the president of the newly elected body, declared on 21 December that the junior national competitions would commence before the year’s end. The ministry asserted that such decisions required due process and a minimum notice period of 15 days to allow wrestlers adequate preparation.

According to the press release issued by the Sports Ministry, the decisions to hold national competitions should be made by the Executive Committee (EC), which involves placing agendas for consideration. The ministry highlighted that the new WFI body violated Article XI of the WFI constitution, which outlines the notice and quorum requirements for EC meetings.

With WFI elections done, is it the right time for protesting wrestlers to move on?

WFI influenced by former office bearers

Furthermore, the ministry raised concerns about the alleged influence of former office bearers on the newly elected body of WFI. Previous office bearers faced accusations of sexual harassment, and the ministry asserted that the new body seemed to be operating under their control.

The ministry claimed that the business of the Federation was being conducted from premises controlled by former office bearers, who are currently subject to a court hearing regarding the alleged sexual harassment.

The suspension comes amid criticism from wrestler Sakshi Malik, who voiced concerns about the junior national competitions being hosted in Gonda, a stronghold of Brij Bhushan Singh. Brij Bhushan Singh was previously ousted by the ministry due to alleged involvement in sexual harassment and intimidation.

Insidesport

The Sports Ministry’s press release concluded by expressing disappointment over the actions of the WFI’s newly elected executive body, describing them as a “blatant disregard” for legal and procedural norms. The ministry emphasized the importance of governance norms for ensuring fair play, transparency, and accountability, essential for building trust among athletes, stakeholders, and the public.

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