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IOA dissolves wrestling’s ad hoc committee, brings back WFI


The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday dissolved the ad hoc committee for wrestling and reinstated the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). The newly elected WFI was suspended by the union sports ministry over violation of the government’s sports code and its own constitution three days after the federation elections. Following the suspension, IOA, for a second time, formed an ad hoc panel to run wrestling in the country.

The ad hoc panel was headed by IOA executive committee member Bhupender Singh Bajwa, hockey Olympian MM Somaya and former international badminton player Manjusha Kanwar

The ad hoc panel was headed by IOA executive committee member Bhupender Singh Bajwa, hockey Olympian MM Somaya and former international badminton player Manjusha Kanwar. The ad hoc panel recently organised the trials to pick the squad for the Asian championships and Olympic qualifiers.

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“The decision to dissolve the ad hoc committee comes in the light of the lifting of the ban on the WFI by the United World Wrestling (UWW) and the successful completion of selection trials by the ad hoc committee appointed by the IOA and per the directives of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi. Consequent upon the aforementioned developments, there is no further need for running the activities of the WFI through an ad hoc committee,” IOA director George Mathew said in a letter to WFI on Monday.

IOA however said, as instructed by UWW it was imperative that WFI “appoint a Safeguarding Committee/Officer at the earliest to address the concerns of abuse and harassment and to ensure adherence to all rules, regulations and guidelines set forth by the UWW and other relevant authorities.”

WFI was also instructed to repay the loan provided by IOA to the ad hoc committee for managing WFI operations. The federation was suspended by the sports ministry on December 24. However, UWW, which provisionally suspended WFI on August 23 last year after failure to hold elections, lifted the suspension in February with a few conditions.

The world body instructed WFI to re-convene and elect its Athletes Commission, also asking it to provide “written guarantees” that all wrestlers, including the three protesting wrestlers (Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik), will be considered for participation without any discrimination in all WFI events, in particular trials for the Olympic Games and any other major national and international events.



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