After his assistant took over in the post, star wrestler Vinesh Phogat, who spearheaded the demonstrations against a former wrestling body chief due to allegations of sexual harassment, sobbed in front of the camera.
Brij Bhushan The Wrestling Federation of India’s 12-year leader, Sharan Singh, was forced to resign earlier this year, opening the door for new elections. Sanjay Singh, his close aide, won yesterday’s election to take his place as the top post.
Following the announcement of the election results, the wrestlers leading the protests—Sakshee Malikkh, Bajrang Punia, and Vinesh Phogat—spoke to the media.
While Ms. Malikkh announced her retirement from the sport, Ms. Phogat stated, “Women wrestlers will continue to face harassment now that Sanjay Singh has been elected chief of the federation.”
The gold medallist from the Commonwealth and Asian Games, Ms. Phogat, claimed she had “no clue how to find justice in the country.”
Although we don’t have high hopes, we do hope to receive justice. The fact that wrestling’s future is unknown is depressing. Whom should we express our sorrow to? “We continue to fight,” she said in an interview with the media.
Olympic medallist Ms. Malikkh stated that they had desired a female head of the wrestling organization. But, she clarified, “that did not occur.” “We fought, but if the new president is Brij Bhushan’s aide, his business partner, then I quit wrestling,”
As she placed her boots on the table, she continued.
Sanjay Singh defeated Anita Sheoran, a gold medallist from the Commonwealth Games, with 40 out of 47 votes. Top wrestlers supported Singh, a six-time MP from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh, and they protested the charges of sexual harassment against him.
Sanjay Singh was a member of the WFI’s previous executive council and joint secretary since 2019. He has also previously held the position of vice-president of the Uttar Pradesh wrestling association.
Mohan Yadav, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, lost the election to become the vice president of the WFI.
Elections were conducted to fill the positions of president, secretary general, treasurer, five executive members, senior vice president, four vice presidents, and two joint secretaries.