IOA forms three-member ad hoc wrestling committee after suspension of WFI

The IOA appointed Bhupinder Singh Bajwa as the chairman of the committee with MM Somaya and Manjusha Kanwar as the members of the committee to run the day-to-day affairs of the WFI.

In a letter dated 27 December 2024, the Indian Olympic Association said, “The ad hoc committee is tasked with overseeing and supervising WFI’s operations, which includes athlete selection, submitting entries for athletes to participate in international events, organising sports activities, handling bank accounts, managing the websites and other related activities.”

The Sports Ministry Sunday suspended the Wrestling Federation, three days after it elected new office bearers with Brij Bhushan Singh loyalist Sanjay Singh as president, and also asked IOA to constitute an ad-hoc panel to manage the affairs of the sports body.

IOA president PT Usha, in a release, said the newly-elected WFI office bearers have made arbitrary decisions in violation of their own constitutional provisions and also flouted principles of good governance.

“The IOA has recently become aware that the recently appointed President and officials of WFI have made arbitrary decisions in violation of their own constitutional provisions and against the principles of good governance espoused by IOC and further without following due process overturned the rulings of the IOA- appointed Ad hoc Committee,” the release said.

“This not only highlights a governance gap within the federation but also signifies a noticeable departure from established norms.

“Since the IOA considers adherence to governance norms as vital for ensuring fair play, transparency and accountability and to safeguard the interests of sportspersons as espoused by IOC and to ensure continuity, it has been decided to appoint an Ad hoc committee….”

Hours after getting elected as WFI president on Thursday, Sanjay had announced that age group national championships will be held from December 28 in Gonda in UP, which is BJP MP Brij Bhushan’s constituency.

The government, while suspending the WFI, cited its “hasty announcement” of organising the U-15 and U-20 nationals “without following due procedure and not giving sufficient notice to wrestlers” for preparations.

The ministry felt the new WFI body was working under the complete control of its former office-bearers, which was not in conformity with the National Sports Code.

Sanjay’s election as WFI chief led to Rio Olympics medallist Sakshi Malik announcing her retirement from wrestling, while Tokyo Games bronze winner Bajrang Punia also returned his Padma Shri to the government. World Championships medallist Vinesh Phogat followed suit as she returned her Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award.



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Published: 27 Dec 2023, 05:19 PM IST

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