India is expected to pay a heavy price for recent sexual harassment allegations against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Chief, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh as the sport's global governing body - United World Wrestling (UWW) - is likely to move Asian Wrestling Championships out of the country.
Reportedly, UWW has communicated its decision to the sports ministry-appointed oversight committee, headed by legendary boxer MC Mary Kom. According to a report published in Times of India, UWW is yet to speak officially on the matter. The world body will soon be announcing a new host city for the continental meet where Indian wrestlers will be allowed to participate.
Meanwhile, reports have confirmed that the six-member committee tried to convince the UWW not to move out the championships from India and even bargained for its postponement, but the UWW rejected the request after receiving complaints in strict confidentiality from female wrestlers, against WFI Chief.
The ongoing investigation against Brij Bhushan Singh has also emerged as a roadblock for the organizers who feel that it would not help their cause. Notably, Singh is facing charges of sexual harassment and misconduct from female national campers, which are being probed by the committee, among other administrative and financial mismanagement issues plaguing the federation.
Prominent wrestlers including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Sarita Mor, Anshu Malik and Sangeeta Phogat had held a three-day-long agitation against Singh at Jantar Mantar last month.
The government of India, after conducting several meetings, decided to set up an oversight committee headed by Olympics medalist Mary Kom to probe the allegations. The Committee was mandated to complete their probe within four weeks, but the delay in finalizing the names and the vast scope of work means it is likely to take more time than initially anticipated.