“Come Forward, Tell Us”: PT Usha, Indian Olympic Association Chief, Backs Wrestlers Amid #MeToo Protest

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president PT Usha on Thursday stated she is “deeply involved and disturbed” by the sexual harassment allegations by famend wrestlers towards Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, saying the nationwide Olympic physique will do all the things doable to safeguard the curiosity of the nation’s girls athletes. Celebrated Indian wrestlers, together with Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik moreover Vinesh Phogat and others are staging a sit-in protest for the final two days at Jantar Mantar right here towards the WFI president, accusing him of sexual exploitation and intimidation and have demanded that the federation be disbanded.

“As IOA President, I’ve been discussing the present matter of wrestlers with the members and for all of us the welfare and properly being of the athletes is the highest most precedence of IOA. We request athletes to come back ahead and voice their considerations with us. We will guarantee an entire investigation to make sure justice. We even have determined to kind a particular committee to cope with such conditions that will come up sooner or later, for swifter motion,” Usha stated in a press release issued by the Indian Olympic Association.

On Thursday, a group of wrestlers, together with Bajrang, Vinesh, Anshu Malik, Sakshi and her husband Satyawrat Kadiyan, met with the federal government officers and mentioned their points with Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi, Director General SAI Sandip Pradhan and Joint Secretary (Sports) Kunal.

During the one-hour assembly, the wrestlers have been requested to finish their protest and warranted that their grievances will likely be addressed. However, the wresters needed a concrete and speedy motion and determined to proceed their protest except the WFI president is eliminated and the nationwide federation is disbanded together with all of the state wrestling associations within the nation.

Usha stated she has full religion within the authorities and has urged all of the National Sports Federations (NSFs) to cooperate on this matter. “Though this whole episode is a matter of nice concern, I really feel extraordinarily assured by the short response of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, who’ve sought an evidence from the involved federation inside the subsequent 72 hours.

“I even have full religion within the Government of India, who I’m positive will take the right step in the appropriate course on this regard. However, because the IOA President, I sincerely hope the athletes, on no account, are denied their rights,” she stated.

“The IOA additionally urges all of the National Sports Federations (NSFs) to totally cooperate with all fact-finding businesses within the curiosity of Indian sports activities. The IOA may even do all the things to safeguard the pursuits of girls athletes,” Usha added.

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