In the latest turn of events, Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has accused an unnamed member of the oversight committee, who is currently probing sexual allegations against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, of leaking ‘sensitive information’ to the media.
The oversight committee is a six-member team formed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS), comprising Mary Kom, Yogeshwar Dutt, Babita Phogat, Radhica Sreeman, Trupti Murgunde and Rajesh Rajagopalan.
The committee was initially given a month for completing the probe and submitting a report, before being provided with a two-week extension on 23 February.
Alleging an oversight committee member of leaking information, Vinesh wrote on Twitter “It has come to my recent awareness that a sportsperson member of the Oversight Committee has been allegedly leaking contents of the complaint of sexual harassment while reading certain media reports since yesterday. Being a sportsperson it is extremely disheartening to see a fellow sports person member of the Oversight Committee has behaved so recklessly. Their attitude towards women is evident from such behavior.”
“The concern is not limited to the proceedings of this investigation itself as I'm sure that the former President is finding support from this member. This member has been acting against the interest of women from day one. The lack of empathy and insensitivity displayed by this sportsperson was shocking during the proceedings of the committee,” the three-time Commonwealth Games medallist further stated.
Wrestlers Demand Committee Member’s Removal
The protesting grapplers, who had previously claimed that they were not informed about the composition of the committee, are now demanding an expeditious outing of the said member.
“I request that strict action be taken against the member for using his position in such a manner and that they should be immediately removed from the committee,” wrote Vinesh.
Amid the dispute, India has lost the hosting rights of the Asian Wrestling Championships 2023. The tournament was slated to be held in New Delhi from 28 March to 2 April, but owing to the ongoing investigation, it has now been shifted to Kazakhstan’s Astana.