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Sakshi Malik announces retirement, refuses to play under new WFI president

Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik has announced her retirement as she refused to compete under the new Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Sanjay Singh.

Sakshi Malik announces retirement, refuses to play under new WFI president

Sakshi Malik being manhandled by the Delhi Police. (Source: PTI)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 21 Dec 2023 12:11 PM GMT

Indian wrestler and 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik announced her retirement from the sport on Thursday after Sanjay Singh, a loyalist of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, became the new president of the Wrestling Federation of India election.

In an emotional address to the media at the Press Club in Delhi after the elections of the WFI office bearers, Sakshi said would quit wrestling, expressing her disappointment over Singh's election as the new WFI chief.

"If a business partner of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh remains the president of WFI, I won't compete anymore. We wanted a female president, but that also didn't happen," an emotional Sakshi told the media.

"I retire from Wrestling and you won't witness me on the mat. Thank you, India for all the support," the 31-year-old added.

Earlier in the day, Sanjay Kumar Singh was elected the new president of the WFI after he defeated 2010 Commonwealth Games medallist Anita Sheoran

Out of 47 votes cast by member units under the supervision of the returning office, Sanjay secured 40 votes while Anita received seven votes.

Ahead of the elections, Olympic medal-winning grapplers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi had repeatedly requested Sports Minister Anurag Thakur to stop anyone associated with Brij Bhushan from contesting the WFI polls.

Consequently, neither Brij Bhushan's son Prateek nor son-in-law Vishal Singh entered the fray. Bajrang and Vinesh Phogat, who addressed the media after the elections, did not say whether they will retire from the sport.

"Unfortunately, the government did not stand by its word that no Brij Bhushan loyalist will contest the WFI election," Bajrang said.

"Upcoming women wrestlers will also face exploitation," Vinesh added.

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