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Country’s Top wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Pohogat, and Sakshi Malik, lash out against the WFI

Country’s top wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Pohogat and Sakshi Malik, lash out against WFI

January 18, 2023

Some of the nation’s top wrestlers, including Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik among others, find themselves at odds with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its President Brijbhushan Sharan Singh for the torture the federation has laid on the wrestlers.  

The wrestlers recently gathered at Jantar Mantar in the nation’s capital in order to make people listen. Most of Wednesday went by in eager anticipation of the wrestlers being heard. It is fair to state India’s top athletes did gain traction and made their feelings about the federation clear. Claims of harassment and mental torture were raised by the athletes who spoke to the press. 

Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat lashed out at the WFI President by staking claims of mental torture. The WFI President allegedly called the wrestler “khota sikka“. Not only did Phogat reveal her inclinations towards taking her own life, she also came out and spoke for the rest of the female wrestlers in the contingent. 

Phogat stated that some coaches, who are among the most liked by the federation, have been harassing girls and getting away with it. Death threats have been levelled against the athletes to ensure they remained quiet on the issue. Phogat has also claimed to be unsure whether she will remain alive after speaking out against the WFI. The allegations point out a serious lapse in the care of the athletes taken by the WFI. 

Bajrang Punia has also largely echoed the feelings of the wrestlers, claiming that the athletes get no support from the federation and are unhappy with its arbitrary laws. “The job of the federation is to support the players, take care of their sporting needs. If there is a problem, it has to be solved. But what to do if the federation itself creates the problem? Now we have to fight, we will not back down,” said Punia.

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