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Two days after Sports Ministry suspended activities of Wrestling Federation of India, Vinesh Phogat announces return of Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award

Vinesh Phogat's announcement to return her awards comes days after the Sports Ministry suspended all the activities of the newly-elected Wrestling Federation of India body till further notice.

On 26th December (Tuesday), wrestler Vinesh Phogat took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce that she will be returning her Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award as a mark of protest against Former WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, whom rebel wrestlers have accused of sexual harassment. 

The post from Vinesh Phogat read, “I am returning my Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna and Arjun Award. Many thanks to the ‘powerful’ person who brought us to this condition.”

In her post, Phogat also shared a letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take action against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh whom she alleged of making statements in the media. Notably, legal cases against Brij Bhushan Singh are already ongoing.

In her letter, Phogat mentioned the decisions of other wrestlers like Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia. On the day when elections for the newly-elected Wrestling body concluded and Sanjay Singh was elected as its President, Sakshi Malik held a press conference. Unhappy with the election of Brij Bhushan Singh’s loyalist Sanjay Singh as WFI Chief, Malik announced her retirement from the sport. 

Meanwhile, a day later, Bajrang Punia announced that he was returning his Padma Shri award to Prime Minister Narendra Modi which was awarded to him in 2019.

Vinesh Phogat’s announcement to return her awards comes days after the Sports Ministry suspended all the activities of the newly-elected Wrestling Federation of India body till further notice. The Ministry took action against the sporting body stating that it announced junior national championships with “complete disregard for the existing rules and regulations”.

The ministry also reportedly said, “The newly elected body appears to be in complete control of former office bearers, disregarding the Sports Code.”

Following the decision, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports wrote to the Indian Olympic Association to form an ad hoc committee to replace the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

Meanwhile, former WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh distanced himself from the ongoing developments related to the WFI including its suspension asserting that he had retired from wrestling administration. He noted that the Sanjay Singh-led WFI body will deal with the proceedings in the near future.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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