Sakshi Malik Applauds Suspension of Wrestling Federation’s Newly Elected Body, Emphasizes Advocacy for Athletes’ Welfare”
Wrestler Sakshi Malik expressed her support on Sunday for the suspension of the recently elected Wrestling Federation of India’s body by the Union sports ministry, asserting that this development is in the best interest of athletes. The Union sports ministry took this action after president Sanjay Singh announced plans for the U-15 and U-20 nationals in Nandini Nagar, Gonda (UP) before the year’s end.
In a statement to reporters in Delhi, Malik clarified, “Our fight was not with the government. Our fight is for women wrestlers. I have announced my retirement but want the upcoming wrestlers to get justice.” According to a sports ministry source, the ministry has not terminated WFI; they require adherence to due process and rules in their operations as a sports body. Singh, a close associate of former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, was elected president of the wrestling body on Wednesday, prompting Malik to announce her retirement from the sport.
Malik, along with fellow top wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, previously staged a prolonged protest seeking an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by BJP MP and former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh. Subsequently, Punia announced his decision to return his Padma Shri award in protest against Singh’s appointment. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punia expressed concerns about the state of wrestling governance in India.
Reacting to news of the suspension, Sanjay Singh stated that he was not aware of the details. “I was on a flight, and I don’t know the details. I have not even received the letter. I will first take a look at the letter and then take a step. I don’t want to make a comment right now,” he said in response to media queries on Sunday.