UWW condemns detention of wrestlers; expresses disappointment over investigation against Brij

UWW condemns detention of wrestlers; expresses disappointment over investigation against Brij

HARIDWAR: Reacting for the first time, the United World Wrestling (UWW) – the sport’s global governing body – on Tuesday condemned the detention of India’s leading wrestlers by the police during a protest march on Sunday and expressed its deep disappointment over the tardy pace of investigation against Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) sidelined president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is accused of sexually harassing seven female grapplers, including a minor. The UWW also threatened to suspend the wrestling federation if its pending elections weren’t held within the stipulated deadline of 45 days as suggested by the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) two-member ad-hoc committee, which has been tasked with running its day-to-day affairs of the WFI and hold the electoral process to its new executive council (EC).
“For several months, UWW has followed with great concern the situation in India where wrestlers are protesting over allegations of abuse and harassment by the president of the WFI. The events of these last days are even more worrying that the wrestlers were arrested and temporarily detained by the police for initiating a march of protest. The site where they had been protesting for more than a month has also been cleared out by the authorities. UWW firmly condemns the treatment and detention of the wrestlers. It expresses its disappointment over the lack of results of the investigations so far. UWW urges the relevant authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations,” the UWW said in a statement.
“Finally, UWW will request further information about the next elective general assembly from the IOA and the ad-hoc committee of the WFI. The 45-day deadline that was initially set to hold this elective assembly shall be respected. Failing to do so may lead UWW to suspend the federation, thereby forcing the athletes to compete under a neutral flag,” the statement added.

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