Mary Kom To Head Panel To Probe #MeToo Charge Against Wrestling Body Chief
The Oversight Committee of the Sports Ministry, headed by boxing legend Mary Kom, Olympic medalist and champion in boxing will oversee the day-to-day operations of the wrestling federation amid the #MeToo controversy.
The ranking tournament in Gonda, UP, a bastion of Sharan, was among the ongoing activities that the ministry had ordered the Wrestling Federation of India to cease “with immediate effect.” As a result of the grapplers’ charges of sexual harassment and corruption against the head of the sports organisation, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, it also suspended Vinod Tomar, the assistant secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
Following a lengthy discussion with the protesting wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Babita Phogat, among others, union sports minister Anurag Thakur last week announced the creation of the oversight committee.
A seven-person committee was previously created by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to look into claims of sexual harassment made by wrestlers against federation head Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. That panel’s chairman is also Mary Kom. Sahdev Yadav, head of the Indian Weightlifting Federation of India (IWLF), wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, archer Dola Banerjee, and others are on the panel. Two attorneys will also be on the committee. Before coming to a decision, the panel will first consult with the protesting wrestlers and then the WFI.
The first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal at the Asian and Commonwealth Games, Vinesh Phogat, claimed on Wednesday that “national coaches had sexually assaulted female wrestlers over the years and had received death threats from WFI authorities.” She and other prominent Indian wrestlers held a large demonstration at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi starting on Wednesday, demanding the ouster of the WFI president from his position.
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