Vinesh Phogat accuses WFI Chief of Sexually Harassing Wrestlers

On behalf of several female wrestlers, Vinesh Phogat has claimed they were sexually exploited by WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh.

Vinesh Phogat accuses WFI Chief of Sexually Harassing Wrestlers f

"They get into our personal lives and relationships."

Protests have intensified in India after the president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and other coaches were accused of sexually harassing female wrestlers for years.

Renowned wrestler Vinesh Phogat claimed that at least 10 women wrestlers told her that they were sexually exploited by WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh.

She made the allegations during a protest in Delhi.

Meanwhile, Singh has denied the allegations.

Vinesh and other athletes said they will not compete in international tournaments unless Singh was removed from the position.

They have also refused to call off their protest until the government addressed their concerns.

India’s sports ministry has sought a response to the allegations from WFI within three days.

At the protest, Vinesh Phogat alleged that some of the WFI coaches appointed at national training camps had been “sexually harassing women wrestlers for years”.

She said: “They trouble us too much. They get into our personal lives and relationships.

“Singh is also involved in sexual harassment. I know at least 10-12 women wrestlers who have told me about the sexual exploitation they faced at the hands of the WFI president.”

Vinesh said that she has personally not faced any harassment but claimed that she has received death threats from officials close to Singh.

Several other wrestlers have spoken up against WFI and Singh.

Bajrang Punia, who won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics and was also present at the protest, accused the WFI president of running the wrestling federation in an “arbitrary manner”.

He said: “When we win medals for India everyone celebrates but after that nobody cares about how we are treated, especially by the federation.”

Vinesh’s cousin Babita Phogat said: “I will try and get to the solution.

“I am a wrestler first and then a political person. I know their pain and I will try to get the solution that the wrestlers want.”

She later arrived at the protest site.

Singh stated that there is “no truth to the allegations” and refused to step down from his post.

He said: “Is anyone saying that the WFI has sexually harassed a wrestler?

“Only Vinesh has said it. Even if one wrestler comes forward and says that she has been sexually harassed, that day I can be hanged.”

In the wake of the protests, India’s sports authority has cancelled the women’s national wrestling camp.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”