Indian Olympic Association calls for emergency meeting with wrestlers

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has called an urgent meeting with the protesting wrestlers, who have alleged sexual harassment of women wrestlers by the WFI president and his coaches and mismanagement of the affairs of the federation, sources said on Friday.

According to sources, the meeting will be held at 5.45 pm.

The IOA will hold a virtual meeting with the wrestlers to discuss the allegations leveled by the top wrestlers as well as other grievances and demands.

Stating that he is fighting against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Commonwealth Games gold medalist Bajrang Punia appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur to listen to his demands.

Several veteran wrestlers of the country, including Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Ravi Dahiya, are participating in the dharna at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar that began on Wednesday.

Wrestlers have alleged sexual harassment of women wrestlers and mismanagement of the affairs of the federation by the WFI president and his coaches. He has also demanded a complete overhaul of the federation.

WFI President Brij Bhushan Saran Singh has denied all the allegations and claimed that he will expose the ‘political conspiracy’ at a press conference in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda today.

On Thursday, some wrestlers met Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, which lasted till this morning.

However, according to sources, the meeting remained inconclusive and the minister is likely to meet the wrestlers again today at his residence.

Meanwhile, Vinesh, Bajrang, Sakshi, Ravi and Deepak on Friday wrote to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president PT Usha over complaints of ‘sexual harassment’ against WFI president Brij Bhushan Saran Singh.

In a letter to the IOA president, the star wrestlers have accused the WFI president of sexual harassment and financial irregularities.

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