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Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat among 36 wrestlers to compete at Zagreb Ranking series

Protesting wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya, Vinesh Phogat, Anshu Malik, and Deepak Punia have been cleared to compete at Zagreb Ranking series.

Indian wrestlers Ravi Dahiya, Bajrang Punia and Anshu Malik

Indian wrestlers Ravi Dahiya, Bajrang Punia and Anshu Malik


Abhijit Nair

Updated: 26 Jan 2023 5:19 AM GMT

The Indian government has approved the participation of a massive 55-member contingent at the Zagreb Open Grand Prix in Croatia, starting next month at full cost to the government.

A total of 12 women wrestlers, 13 men's freestyle wrestlers, and 11 Greco Roman wrestlers have been cleared to compete in the competition.

This also includes the wrestlers like Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya, Vinesh Phogat, Anshu Malik, Deepak Punia, who were all in forefront of the three-day protest against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) last week.

The protesting wrestlers had then levelled serious allegations including sexual exploitation and financial mismanagement against the WFI President Brij Bushan Sharan Singh.

The wrestlers had also threatened to not compete in any tournament and continue their protest indefinitely till any action is taken against the WFI management.

The protest came to an end after a marathon meeting between the Indian Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and the wrestlers, where the former assured of quick action.

The Sports Ministry has since setup a five-member Oversight committee led by Mary Kom to investigate the allegations made by wrestlers and look after the daily affairs of the WFI.

The Ministry also suspended WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar from his post and had asked Brij Bushan Sharan Singh to step aside for the duration of the probe.

The oversight committee is expected to submit its investigation report in 4 weeks.

Besides, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has also set up a committee to investigate the allegations.

Amidst all the out of mat drama, it would be interesting to see how the 55-member Indian contingent fares at the Zagreb Ranking Series, which is slated to be held from 1st to 5th February 2023.

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