IOA panel for wrestling warns WFI of action for ‘illegally’ communicating with state body

NEW DELHI, Nov 14: The ad-hoc committee running the sport of wrestling in the country has accused the disbanded WFI of violating the IOA charter by “illegally” communicating with a state association.
The Indian Olympic Association had constituted an ad-hoc committee to run wrestling affairs after the Wrestling Federation of India was suspended following accusations of sexual harassment against its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh by leading grapplers of the country, including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik.
In a letter issued to the disbanded WFI general secretary V N Prasood on Sunday, a copy of which is with PTI, ad-hoc committee member Bhupender Singh Bajwa has warned him of “disciplinary measures” and requested him from refraining from activities that “run contrary to the IOA’s instructions”.
“It has come to our notice that, as the General Secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India, you have been in continued correspondence with the affiliated units of the WFI, contravening the IOA order,” Bajwa has said in his letter.
“Disturbingly, it has been reported that today (Sunday), you issued a circular to the Maharashtra State Wrestling Association, an act deemed unconstitutional and in violation of established laws.
“The Ad-hoc Committee is dedicated to working collaboratively with all affiliated units to enhance the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
“However, it is imperative to emphasise that any actions taken in defiance of IOA directives may result in disciplinary measures against those who willingly participate in or persist with such illegal activities, ultimately working against the broader interests of wrestling in India,” the letter added.
The IOA ad-hoc committee was expected to hand over the functioning of the WFI to the new office-bearers but legal issues have forced several postponements of the elections.
Before the World Championships in Belgrade in September the international body, United World Wrestling (UWW), suspended the WFI for failing to hold the elections in the designated time frame.
The letter further added that until an “amicable resolution” is found, people should refrain from such activities.
“In light of these developments, we kindly request that you refrain from any activities that run contrary to the IOA’s instructions. It is crucial to comply with the established guidelines to ensure the smooth functioning and progress of the Wrestling Federation of India,” wrote the ad-hoc panel member.
“Failure to adhere to these instructions may compel the Committee to initiate disciplinary action against you for the violation of the IOA order. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated, and we hope for an amicable resolution.”
A member of the ad-hoc committee confirmed that such a letter had been written to Prasood to “send a strong message”. (PTI)