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‘Ready to be hanged if the allegations prove to be true’: Wrestling Federation chief Brij Bhushan Singh rejects molestation charges

Brij Bhushan Singh said, "I am ready for any kind of investigation. I am ready to be hanged if the allegations of sexual abuse are found to be true. The accuser should come ahead and tell."

The national president of the Wrestling Federation of India Brij Bhushan Singh has rejected allegations of dictatorship and sexual harassment raised by wrestlers on 18th January 2023. Brij Bhushan Singh has said that he is ready to be hanged if the allegations are found to be true.

Wrestling Federation of India’s president Brij Bhushan Singh has given an explanation about the allegations of sexual harassment of women wrestlers. He has denied the allegations of women wrestlers. Brij Bhushan Singh said, “Can anyone come ahead and say that the federation harassed an athlete? There has been no incident of sexual harassment. I am ready for any kind of investigation. I am ready to be hanged if the allegations of sexual abuse are found to be true. The accuser should come ahead and tell.”

Several veteran wrestlers including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, and Sakshi Malik protested against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and the Wrestling Federation of India at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on Wednesday. Following the uproar, WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh lashed out at the wrestlers, saying they were not ready to give trials or fight at the national level. He also said that this is a planned conspiracy against him.

Brij Bhushan Singh said, “When I came to know that wrestlers in Delhi had started protesting, I didn’t know what the allegation was. I immediately came to Delhi. Regarding the allegations (of sexual harassment) that Vinesh has leveled, is anyone coming forward with these allegations? Is there any athlete who has come forward with these allegations? Has the Fed Press committed any kind of sexual harassment?”

Brij Bhushan Singh further said, “They will not give trials, nor will they fight at the national level. Did they not have any problem with the federation for the last ten years? All these things have been happening since the new rules came into force. None of these players who are sitting on protest today have fought in the nationals. This is a conspiracy against me. A big industrialist is behind all this. When Vinesh Phogat lost, it was me who inspired her. When Deepak Punia lost in the Tokyo Olympics, the Russian coach beat the referee. Vinesh Phogat did not wear an Olympic uniform.”

About the new rules, he said, “The organization made a rule by studying the rules of many countries of the world. We have made it a rule to conduct tests after the Olympics. If one wants to go to the Olympics he will be tested like any other athlete in the country. The athlete who has secured an Olympic quota will compete with the winner of the trial tests in the country. The wrestler will then be selected for the Olympics from there. If the Olympic quota holder loses, he will be given another chance. We are working according to the rules. There is no question of dictatorship. This decision is not mine but taken with the opinion of good coaches and these players.”

Brij Bhushan Singh added, “I will talk to the players. I am ready for any kind of investigation. Sexual harassment has never happened. If even one athlete comes out and proves it, I am ready to hang myself. I will not resign as WFI president. Whatever allegations have been made, I hope she (Vinesh) will send it to me in writing. I will respond to whatever I can and the rest can be investigated by the CBI or the police. This is a very big allegation. How can I take action when my own name has been dragged into it? I want to ask Vinesh Phogat why she wore a dress with the company logo at the Olympics. After losing the match, I just encouraged and motivated her.”

Earlier, while speaking to the media during the protest at Jantar Mantar, wrestler Vinesh Phogat said, “I know of 10-20 cases of sexual harassment of women wrestlers. Many coaches and referees are involved. When the High Court directs us, we will produce all the evidence. We are also ready to submit all the evidence to the PM. We will protest till the culprits are punished. No athlete will participate in any event.”

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