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World wrestling body condemns wrestler detention, threatens suspension

Global wrestling governing body UWW has condemned the detention of protesting wrestlers and asked an update on WFI elections.

World wrestling body condemns wrestler detention, threatens suspension

Sangeeta Phogat and Vinesh Phogat are on the ground after being detained by police. (Credits: Arun Thakur/AFP)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 30 May 2023 3:11 PM GMT

With the protest by Indian wrestlers against WFI Chief intensified, the global wrestling governing body United World Wrestling has condemned the detention and treatment of Indian wrestlers through a press release on Tuesday.

Taking cognizance of the situation, UWW has asked the relevant authorities to conduct an impartial investigation against WFI Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

In the press release addressing the situation, UWW mentioned, "UWW firmly condemns the treatment and detention of the wrestlers. It expresses its disappointment over the lack of results of the investigations so far. UWW urges the relevant authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations."

The global body has further condemned the detention of the wrestlers. Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik were detained by Delhi Police on Sunday after they tried to enter the new parliament. The wrestlers were released later.

"The events of these last days are even more worrying that the wrestlers were arrested and temporarily detained by the police for initiating a march of protest. The site where they had been protesting for more than a month has also been cleared out by the authorities," UWW said in the press release.

United World Wrestling has ensured the wrestlers of firm support and fair resolution.

"UWW will hold a meeting with the wrestlers to inquire about their condition and safety and reconfirm our support for a fair and just resolution of their concerns," the press release mentioned.

Suspension looming over WFI

The global body has also asked for an update about the next elective general assembly from the IOA and the Ad-hoc Committee of the WFI.

"The 45-day deadline that was initially set to hold this elective assembly shall be respected. Failing to do so may lead UWW to suspend the federation, thereby forcing the athletes to compete under a neutral flag. It is reminded that UWW already took a measure in this situation by reallocating the Asian Championship planned in New Delhi earlier this year," said UWW in the release.

Earlier in May, IOA had formed an Ad-Hoc Committee to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and also conduct due polls of the NSF.

With the global body taking cognizance, the consequences can be severe for the Wrestling Federation of India.

The protesting wrestlers threatened to immerse their medals in River Ganga at Haridwar earlier in the day. Farmer leader Naresh Tikait intervened and the wrestlers gave a five-day ultimatum to the government or else they will immerse their medals in the river Ganga.

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