Three days after a new chief of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Sanjay Singh came into power, the Sports Ministry has stunningly suspended the wrestling body. Earlier, wrestler Sakshi Malik quit wrestling, while fellow athlete Bajrang Punia had left his Padma Shri outside Prime Minister's residence as Brij Bhushan Singh's close aide Sanjay Singh became WFI chief.
The Sports Ministry made the massive announcement, citing that the wrestling body had flouted the rules and regulations. The Ministry released an official statement, claiming that the announcement of the nationals by Sanjay Singh was hasty even as the WFI Secretary protested against the same.
"Such decisions (holding nationals) are to be taken by Executive Committee, before which agendas are required to be placed for consideration. As per Article XI of the WFI constitution under the Heading 'Notices and Quorum for Meetings', minimum notice period for EC meeting is 15 clear days and quorum is of 1/3rd of representatives. Even for Emergency EC meeting, minimum notice period is 7 clear days with quorum requirement of 1/3rd of representatives."
Sports Ministry alleges new office to be in control of the previous office-bearers:
The Sports Ministry further suggested that the operations of the body is being controlled by the newly-elected body's predecessors, who have been accused of sexual harassment.
"Newly elected body appears to be in complete control of former office bearers in complete disregard to the Sports Code. The business of the Federation is being run from the premises controlled by former office bearers. Which is also alleged premises wherein sexual harassment of the players have been alleged and present the court is hearing the matter."
The Ministry further added:
"The decisions made by the newly elected executive body of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) demonstrate a blatant disregard for the established legal and procedural norms, violating both the WFI's constitutional provisions and the National Sports Development Code."
"The actions smack of complete arbitrariness on part of the President, which is against the settled principles of good governance and devoid of transparency and due process. Adherence to governance norms is vital for ensuring fair play, transparency and accountability," the statement read.
A teary-eyed Sakshi Malik announced at a press conference about her decision to step away from professional wrestling. During an interview with India Today a day later, the 29-year-old said she will stand by her decision as long as Brij Bhushan Singh or his aide is in power.