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Sunday, July 14, 2024

UWW suspends WFI, Indian grapplers to be bereft of competing under tricolour


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New Delhi: In a disturbing development, the Indian grapplers will not be allowed to compete at the upcoming World Championships under the Indian flag after United World Wrestling (UWW) suspended the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for not conducting its elections on time.

Due to this, the Indian grapplers will have to compete as neutral athletes at the Olympic-qualifying World Championships starting September 16.

The Bhupendra Singh Bajwa led ad-hoc panel of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) failed to meet the 45-day deadline for holding elections.

The ad-hoc panel was set up on April 27.

UWW had warned of the suspension of WFI if they failed to meet the deadline to hold the elections, which was scheduled on May 7.

The elections have been delayed multiple times due to court proceedings. Many disgruntled and disaffiliated state bodies moved the court, seeking the right to participate in the polls.

The WFI election was scheduled for July 11, but the Assam association moved the Guwahati High Court and got a stay in its favour on June 25.

Subsequently, the Andhra state association approached the Supreme Court challenging the Guwahati High Court, seeking permission to hold an election and succeeded.

August 12 was the new date fixed to hold the election, but a day before, Punjab stayed the process on an application moved by Haryana Wrestling Association (HWA), which was led by Deepinder Singh Hooda before being suspended by WFI.

HWA had challenged the move to allow the Haryana Amateur Wrestling Association to cast votes in the WFI polls.

This deadlock the controversy surrounding the outgoing WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has allegedly been accused of sexually abusing several women wrestlers.

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