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Stress mounts on embattled India wrestling chief after sexual harassment allegations

NEW DELHI: India’s wrestling federation chief cancelled a press convention meant to disclose a “conspiracy” towards him as high athletes, together with Olympic and Commonwealth medallists, mounted a 3rd day of protests demanding his resignation over sexual harassment allegations.

Dozens of female and male wrestlers together with some coaches and trainees have introduced a boycott of all competitions till Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is eliminated. Singh, who can also be an MP for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Get together, has dismissed the allegations and had promised to “expose the conspiracy” towards him at a press convention Friday.

It was repeatedly delayed and finally cancelled when he despatched out his son to talk to journalists as an alternative. “We’re not authorised to talk on something,” he informed them, promising that his father would as an alternative handle the media on the federation’s annual assembly on Sunday.

The protesting athletes, led by Vinesh Phogat — a three-time Commonwealth Video games champion and one in all India’s most embellished girl wrestlers — met the sports activities minister Anurag Thakur for the second time late Friday to induce the federal government to intervene. Phogat has accused Singh of harassing “a number of younger wrestlers” and mentioned that she knew “at the very least 10 to twenty women” who had recounted sexual harassment at wrestling camps.

Hours after Phogat and different high athletes wrote a letter to PT Usha, president of the Indian Olympic Affiliation, the organisation late Friday introduced a seven-member panel to analyze all harassment fees towards Singh, media stories mentioned. “It has taken loads of braveness for us wrestlers to return collectively and protest,” the athletes wrote of their letter to Usha.

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