Saturday, September 30, 2023

Wrestling mess: Sport's governing body condemns manhandling of grapplers, threatens suspension if elections delayed

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | May 31, 2023 10:25 AM

NEW DELHI: The International wrestling body United World Wrestling (UWW) on Tuesday condemned the treatment meted out to the protesting wrestlers and their detention following a scuffle with the Delhi Police and said it will hold a meeting with the wrestlers to inquire about their condition and safety.

UWW said it will seek further information from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Ad-hoc body appointed by it for wrestling about its plans for conducting elections for the next governing body.

The sport's international governing body also threatened of suspending the Wrestling Federation of India if the election process is not completed within the 45 days deadline.

"For several months, United World Wrestling has followed with great concern the situation in India where wrestlers are protesting over allegations of abuse and harassment by the President of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). It has taken due note that the WFI President has been put aside at an early stage and is currently not in charge," the UWW said in a statement.

"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," the statement said.

"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 UWW said.

The international body said it will take action in case the Ad-hoc Committee is not able to conduct elections within the deadline.

"Finally, UWW will request further information 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 reminding that UWW already took a measure in this situation by reallocating the Asian Championship planned in New Delhi earlier this year," the statement said.

The IOA appointed a two-member Ad-hoc Committee of Suma Shirur and Bhupender Singh Bajwa to oversee the Wrestling Federation of India's office. A retired High Court Judge will also be appointed to ensure impartial and transparent voting.


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