IOA president PT Usha is “deeply concerned and disturbed” by the sexual harassment allegations by well-known wrestlers against WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh, as per PTI. She said that the national Olympic body will do its best as far as the interests of India’s women athletes are concerned.
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The likes of Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat protested over a couple of days at Jantar Mantar. They accused the WFI president of sexual exploitation and intimidation.
“As a woman and former athlete and presently a sports administrator, I am deeply concerned and disturbed by the latest developments in Indian wrestling, where a section of the athletes has brought serious allegations against a senior official of the sport,” said Usha said in a statement issued by IOA.
Usha has faith in the government.
“Though this entire episode is a matter of great concern, I feel extremely assured by the quick response of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, who have sought an explanation from the concerned federation within the next 72 hours. I also have full faith in the Government of India, who I am sure will take the correct step in the right direction in this regard. However, as the IOA President, I sincerely hope the athletes, under no circumstances, are denied their rights,” she added.
“The IOA also urges all the National Sports Federations to fully cooperate with all fact-finding agencies in the interest of Indian sports. The IOA will also do everything to safeguard the interests of women athletes,” Usha went on to say.
The Sports Ministry has given an ultimatum to Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and has given him 24 hours to resign, according to sources, as per India Today.
This comes after Sports Minister Anurag Thakur met with the protesting wrestlers at his residence.