Former Asian Championship gold medallist and currently a member of the IOA’s athletes commission, OP Karhana, has urged all the sports federations to bring more transparency following the protest by top Indian wrestlers against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
“If the players of cultural and traditional sports like wrestling have started questioning their sports federations, then the indication is clear that now all Indian sports federations will have to bring more transparency in their activities and give importance to voice of the players,” the former shot putter wrote in Twitter.
कुश्ती जैसे सांस्कृतिक और पारम्परिक खेलों के खिलाड़ियों ने अगर अपने खेल संघों से सवाल पुछना शुरू कर दिया है, तो संकेत स्पष्ट है कि अब सभी भारतीय खेल संघों को अपने कार्यकलापों में और अधिक पारदर्शिता लानी पड़ेगी और खिलाड़ियों की आवाज को भी महत्व देना होगा @WeAreTeamIndia @Media_SAI
— OM PRAKASH SINGH KARHANA OLY (@opkarhana) January 21, 2023
The tussle between the agitating grapplers and the Wrestling Federation of India ended for the time being after the athletes called off their protest following assurances from the government, the first step of which was temporary sidelining under-fire WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Dahiya, decided to end their three-day long sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar here after a breakthrough was achieved during a marathon second round of talks with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur late on Friday night.
The government decided to form an oversight committee which will investigate the allegations of sexual harassment of women wresters by the WFI president. The committee, members of which are yet to be named, will also oversee the day-to-day affairs of the federation.
The ordeal ended with a late night joint press briefing by Thakur at his residence along with the aggrieved grapplers, where the minister announced the formation of the committee and said the panel will submit its report in a month’s time.