NEW DELHI, Dec 29: The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Friday moved its office out of the residence of its former president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
“The WFI will operate from a new address in the Hari Nagar area of New Delhi after vacating Brij Bhushan’s premises,” WFI sources said. The union sports ministry had recently raised serious objections to the Federation office functioning from the president’s residence.
The ministry, while suspending the newly-formed WFI panel under president Sanjay Singh on December 24, three days after he was elected its head, had cited the office running from Brij Bhushan’s residence as one of the reasons for taking the stringent action.
“The business of the federation is being run from the premises controlled by former office bearers (Brij Bhushan) — which is also the alleged premises wherein sexual harassment of the players have been alleged and presently the court is hearing the matter,” the ministry had said in its letter.
The ministry also said the new body was working under the “complete control of former (WFI) office-bearers”, which was not in conformity with the National Sports Code. Several top wrestlers, including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Mallick and World Championship medallist Vinesh Phogat have levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Brij Bhushan and the case is being heard in the Delhi High Court.
After Sanjay Singh, a close aide of Brij Bhushan, was elected WFI chief on December 21, Sakshi decided to retire from wrestling, while Bajrang returned his Padma Shri and Vinesh decided to give her Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award back, alleging they did not want any close associate of the BJP MP to run the federation.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has instituted a three-member ad-hoc committee under the chairmanship of Wushu Association of India chief Bhupender Singh Bajwa to run the affairs of the sport till further orders.