Mary Kom to head Oversight Committee for wrestling federation; Yogeshwar, Murgunde named members

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) World champion woman boxer and Olympic bronze medallist MC Mary Kom will head the government-appointed five-member Oversight Committee for the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) which will have Olympic bronze medallist grappler Yogeshwar Dutt and former India badminton star Trupti Murgunde as key members.

Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Anurag Thakur on Monday announced the composition of the Oversight Committee which will also include the former CEO of Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Capt Rajagopalan and former SAI Executive Director (Teams) Radhika Sreeman. Murgunde is a member of the government’s Mission Olympic Cell member.

“As I had earlier announced, the Oversight Committee will not only handle the day-to-day functioning of the WFI but also inquire into the serious allegations made by the wrestlers and submit a report,” Sports Minister Anurag Thakur told the media on Monday.

Thakur had on Saturday announced the formation of the Oversight Committee to handle the day-to-day activities of the WFI after a group of wrestlers led by Olympians Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Dhaiya and Deepak Punia sat on a protest at the Jantar Mantar here alleging many irregularities by WFI including mismanagement of governance and sexual harassment of women grapplers by coaches and the WFI president. At the same time, the government also suspended WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.

On Monday, Thakur informed that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been asked to cease functioning as WFI president till the inquiry by the Oversight Committee is completed and has been told not to interfere in the day-to-day functioning of the WFI.

The Indian wrestlers had called off their protest late on Friday evening after a second meeting at Thakur’s residence in the national capital.

The meeting lasted beyond midnight, following which wrestler Bajrang Punia announced to the media that the other wrestlers are calling off the protest after assurance of action from Thakur against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

The wrestlers have been staging a protest since Wednesday, accusing WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment of women wrestlers, sponsorship fund embezzlement, and athletes’ mismanagement.

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