New Delhi, 28 April: In a major development, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday set up a two-member Ad-Hoc Committee consisting of Bhupender Singh Singh Bajwa, IOA Executive Council Member, and Ms. Suma Shirur, Sportsperson of Outstanding Merit of IOA to run the Wrestling Federation of India's (WFI) office.
In the days leading up to WFI's election, IOA will also appoint a retired High Court Judge to the Ad-Hoc Committee for fair and transparent election. The WFI Ad-Hoc committee will be responsible to manage the affairs of the federation including the selection and participation of sportspersons in international events. This decision was taken at the IOA Executive Council emergency meeting chaired by President P T Usha.
WFI's earlier proposed May 7, election now stands null and void, as per the directive given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. New date for the election will be communicated by Ad-Hoc Committee.
Usha, however, expressed her disappointment over the protesting wrestlers' attempt to give this a political color. "Those protesting are renowned wrestlers who brought laurels to the country. They have an equal responsibility of safeguarding the interest of our sports and sportspersons and also the image of our country. However, they are sitting on dharna, asking all political parties to join them, is what disappoints me " she said in a release.
IIOA had constituted a committee headed by veteran boxer Mary Kom, in January 2023 on receipt of the complaint. The committee held various hearings of both parties. It is unfortunate to see that instead of approaching this committee or IOA, the wrestlers chose to publicly protest.
IOA will always be for the betterment and care of sportspersons and also to extend all possible support for the development of sports in our country.. IIOA's paramount objective is to safeguard the interest of the Indian wrestlers and to ensure their participation in the forthcoming Asian Games and other international championships this year. the release added
The executive council members also held discussions on the Order dated April 5, 2023 of the Supreme Court of India on Appeal of SLP (C) No. 14533/2022 and decide on filing any objections or suggestions to the Constitution of IOA.
In the Order the Supreme Court asked all the parties to file any objections or suggestions on the IOA Constitution which was drafted by Mr. Justice Nageswara Rao, The members present had a detailed discussion on the points that are required to be changed/corrected in the constitution.
IOA President also expressed her satisfaction with the progress made by Goa for hosting 43 sports in the National Games. An IOA delegation including its joint secretary and acting CEO Kalyan Chaubey visited Goa on April 26, to meet the Chief Minister and review the preparation of the 37th National Games to be held later this year.
The Executive Council noticed and expressed concern about the governing lapses in Handball and Taekwondo association. IOA will act firmly to take decisions to avoid malpractice by any individual and to ensure the development of sports and sportspersons.