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IOA dissolves ad-hoc committee, WFI takes control of Indian wrestling

IOA dissolved the ad-hoc committee for wrestling, empowering WFI with full administrative control amidst directives for safeguarding measures and financial accountability.

IOA dissolves ad-hoc committee, WFI takes control of Indian wrestling

Representative Photo: Wrestling Mats


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 19 March 2024 4:38 AM GMT

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) announced the dissolution of the ad-hoc committee responsible for overseeing wrestling in the country. The decision marks a pivotal moment as the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) now assumes complete administrative control of the sport.

The IOA cited the lifting of the suspension on the national federation as a key factor in this decision, emphasizing the successful collaboration between the ad-hoc committee and WFI in conducting selection trials for upcoming events, including the Olympic qualifiers.

The ad-hoc committee, chaired by Bhupender Singh Bajwa, was formed in December last year following the suspension of WFI by the sports ministry. This move came amid allegations of rule violations by the newly-elected WFI leadership under Sanjay Singh. However, with the ban imposed by the global governing body, United World Wrestling (UWW), lifted in February, and the recent completion of selection trials, the need for the ad-hoc committee has ceased to exist.

In a letter addressed to WFI, the IOA stressed the importance of adhering to guidelines set by UWW, particularly in appointing a Safeguarding Committee/Officer to address concerns related to abuse and harassment. Additionally, the IOA directed WFI to conduct elections for the Athletes Commission promptly, highlighting the significance of athlete representation in decision-making processes within the federation.

The letter reads, "Furthermore, the WFI is also directed to conduct the elections of the Athletes Commission in a time-bound manner, per the established procedures and guidelines. This step is essential to promote athlete representation and participation in the decision-making processes of the WFI."

Furthermore, the IOA instructed WFI to repay the loan provided by the Indian Olympic Association to the ad-hoc committee for managing WFI's operations, indicating a shift towards financial accountability and transparency within the governing structures of Indian wrestling.

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