Bajrang Punia Voices Concerns, Calls for UWW Action Against WFI

Bajrang Punia pens an open letter to United World Wrestling (UWW), expressing concerns over the lifting of the Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) suspension.

Olympic medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia has addressed United World Wrestling (UWW) through an open letter, urging the global wrestling body to intervene against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Punia expressed his concern over the decision to lift the suspension imposed on WFI, emphasizing the potential threats faced by Indian wrestlers due to actions by WFI members.

UWW had provisionally suspended WFI on August 23 last year, citing a failure to conduct timely elections. However, the suspension was lifted on Tuesday with immediate effect, contingent on WFI providing written guarantees that all wrestlers would be considered for participation without discrimination in WFI events.

In his letter to UWW, Punia highlighted the perceived risks and harassment faced by Indian wrestlers due to the decisions of WFI. He pointed out that WFI was suspended by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYAS) on December 27, 2023, due to serious anomalies, leading to the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee by MYAS to oversee wrestling activities.

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Despite this, Punia noted that the suspended WFI members proceeded to organize sporting activities without recognition from sports ministries under the same leadership. Wrestlers across India have reportedly lost trust in the functioning of WFI, prompting MYAS to take further steps, as per Punia’s letter.

Punia, along with other wrestlers, called on UWW to support Indian athletes against what they perceive as unfair practices and harassment. The letter comes amidst controversies, with former wrestler Sakshi Malik accusing WFI chief Sanjay Singh of employing underhanded tactics to lift the suspension imposed by UWW.

IANS

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