Wrestlers protesting on streets amounts to indiscipline: IOA president PT Usha; grappler Bajrang says expected support from her, not harsh words

New Delhi, April 27

Coming down heavily on the aggrieved wrestlers, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president PT Usha on Thursday said the grapplers protesting on the streets amounts to indiscipline and is tarnishing the country’s image.

Decorated wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik are the three central characters in the renewed protests against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexual harassment and criminal intimidation by the grapplers.

Reacting to Usha’s remarks, Bajrang Punia to PTI: “We did not expect such a harsh response from IOA President PT Usha, we expected support from her.”

“Wrestlers staging protest on streets amounts to indiscipline. It is tarnishing the image of India,” Usha told reporters after IOA’s Executive Committee meeting.

The IOA also instituted a three-member adhoc panel, including former shooter Suma Shirur, Wushu Association of India chief Bhupendra Singh Bajwa and headed by a yet-to-be-named retired high court judge, to run the affairs of the WFI until a new body is elected.

The IOA and the government had managed to placate the wrestlers with assurances to probe their allegations against Sharan and the WFI after the protest first broke out in January.

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