With the suspension of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for the 2nd time in a year, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will come together to oversee the matters of the body. According to a report by The India Today, the IOA will form an Ad-hoc committee in the next 48 hours and will take over the administration of the WFI.
By issuing a strongly-worded statement on Sunday, the country's Sports Ministry decided to suspend the WFI, citing that the matters are still being looked after by the previous office-bearers, who were stood down following allegations of sexual harassment.
With former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh's close aide Sanjay Singh succeeding him, Sakshi Malik stepped down from professional wrestling, while fellow athlete Bajrang Punia placed his Padma Shri award outside PM Narendra Modi residence's footpath.
Sakshi Malik throws a small hint at coming out of retirement:
Meanwhile, Malik interacted with the media following the Sports Ministry's drastic decision and yet again called for a woman chief. The 29-year-old stated that she will reverse her retirement based on the federation that will be formed moving forward.
"This decision is for the betterment of the wrestlers. We were saying that for a long time that this was a fight for the sisters and the daughters. We want a woman president, a good federation. This is the first step, something good has happened. We would hope that the government stays in our favour. (On retirement announcement) I will tell you about the decision according to the federation that would be formed."
Brij Bhushan also interacted with the media on Sunday and distanced himself from any affairs related to wrestling.
WFI Chief Sanjay Singh to present proofs to seek revocation of federation
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will seek revocation of its suspension by explaining to the government that it has not flouted any rules while taking decisions and if the issue is not resolved, it may explore legal options, its President Sanjay Singh told PTI.
The Sports Ministry on Sunday suspended the newly-elected WFI for not following due procedure while announcing the dates for the U15 and U20 National Championships in Gonda, UP.
"We are seeking time from the sports minister and request that the suspension be lifted. If the issue is not resolved through dialogue, we could explore legal options," Sanjay Singh told PTI.
"We will explain that we have followed rules in taking decisions. We will present the proofs. Whatever decisions were taken, were taken by consensus. It was not my personal decision. 24 state associations had given affidavits and we have got e-mails, we have everything in writing," the sports administrator added.
Bajrang Punia will not take back his Padma Shri award
Bajrang Punia, who had returned his Padma Shri medallion to the government on Friday in protest over election of Brij Bhushan loyalist Sanjay Singh as WFI President, said he won't take back his award.
"Now that I have returned it, I am not going to take it back. The honour of our sisters and daughters is bigger than any award. All of you have seen what is happening," the Tokyo Games bronze medal winner told PTI.
"I will think about taking it back only after justice is delivered. The matter is in court and we are waiting for justice," he added.
Bajrang, Sakshi and Vinesh Phogat had accused Brij Bhushan of sexually exploiting women wrestlers during his tenure as WFI president.