Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh Faces Allegations and Media Backlash as Sanjay Singh Takes WFI Helm

New Delhi: A dramatic turn of events unfolded in the ongoing wrestling saga as Sanjay Singh, a close associate of former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, was elected as the new president of the association on Thursday. This development came even as protesting wrestlers held a press conference at Jantar Mantar, demanding reforms and a change in leadership.

The news sent shockwaves throughout the wrestling community, particularly among the wrestlers who have been at the forefront of the protest against alleged irregularities and sexual harassment within the WFI. Among them was Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik, who made a startling announcement during the press conference.

Expressing her disappointment, Sakshi declared that she would quit wrestling if Brij Bhushan or individuals like him remained in charge of the WFI. Her tearful pleading revealed the level of annoyance among the protesting wrestlers.

Furthermore, Sakshi criticised the lack of representation of women in the newly elected WFI leadership. She stressed the importance of having a woman president to address the prevailing issues of harassment and discrimination. The wrestlers’ demand for a female president was aimed at fostering a safer environment for women in the sport.

The media’s attempt to seek Brijbhushan Sharan Singh’s reaction to Sakshi’s announcement was met with anger and resentment. He expressed displeasure over the question, stating that he had no connection to her. Subsequently, he abruptly ended the press interaction and evicted the media from his bungalow.

Prior to the election, the wrestlers had engaged in a fierce battle against Brij Bhushan’s leadership. Their protest gained momentum in April, when they came together to voice their concerns and demand change. The wrestlers staged a sit-in protest near the new Parliament building, which was later dispersed during the inauguration of the building in May. This led to some of the protesting wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia, returning to their government jobs.

Adding to the controversy, the wrestlers had also levelled serious allegations of sexual harassment against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The case is currently being heard in the Delhi High Court, with the next hearing scheduled soon. Sanjay Singh, the newly elected president, is known to be a close aide of Brij Bhushan.

The wrestling community remains divided and in turmoil as the battle for a fair and transparent administration continues. The future of the sport hangs in the balance as wrestlers grapple with uncertainty and demand reforms to safeguard the integrity and safety of the sport.

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