Oversight Committee led by MC Mary Kom against WFI President given a further two weeks to file report

MC Mary Kom-led Oversight Committee against WFI President given two more weeks to file report

February 24, 2023

The Sports Ministry has granted an extension of two weeks to the Oversight Committee led by MC Mary Kom, formed on January 23, 2023, to look into the sexual harassment complaints raised by several wrestlers of the nation against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President, Brij Bhushan. The committee was required to submit its report within four weeks; however, the latest reports state that the date has now been extended to March 9, 2023. 

Some of the nation’s top wrestlers, including Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik among others, staged a protest against the WFI President in late January.

After noting the allegations the wrestlers raised outside the Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur announced on January 21, 2023, that the government would form a committee that would not only investigate the issue at hand but will also overlook the day-to-day affairs of the WFI.

The Committee comprises eminent sportspersons, such as boxer Mary Kom and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt. Other members of the Committee include Trupti Murgunde, Sports Authority of India member Radhika Sreeman, former CEO of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme Rajesh Rajagopalan, and Babita Phogat. 

Furthermore, the WFI chief was also asked to step aside from the post until the Committee completed its investigation.

There are burning concerns regarding the performance of wrestlers at the international level. The nation’s top wrestlers have not competed internationally since the Committee’s formation and have missed the UWW Ranking Series in Zagreb and Alexandria. 

To add to the complications, United World Wrestling (UWW) has stripped India of its rights to host the Asian Championships, citing complaints from wrestlers. 

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