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Rediff.com  » Sports » Deal with players' issues with respect and dignity: Athletes Commission

Deal with players' issues with respect and dignity: Athletes Commission

Source: PTI
April 30, 2023 22:41 IST
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IMAGE: Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Sangita Phogat during their protest at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi, on Thursday. Photograph: PTI

The Athletes Commission of the IOA has recommended the national Olympic body to put systems in place to deal with issues of the players "with respect and dignity" in the light of the protest by India's top wrestlers against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

 

The Athletes Commission of the Indian Olympic Association met on Saturday to discuss the ongoing protest by the wrestlers who have made sexual harassment and intimidation charges against Singh.

"Six members out of the 10 attended the meeting on Saturday and they have sent recommendations to the IOA," a source privy to the development told PTI.

"The Athletes Commission felt that it should play a more active role in representing the voices of the athletes in front of the IOA and put systems in place to deal with the issues of the athletes with respect and dignity."

It is learnt that Athletes Commission chairperson and Olympics bronze medallist boxer M C Mary Kom was not present at the meeting. She heads a seven-member committee formed by the IOA on January 20 to look into the allegations of sexual harassment made by the wrestlers.

The committee is yet to submit its report.

Mary Kom was also the head of the Oversight Committee constituted by the Sports Ministry to probe sexual harassment and intimidation charges against Singh. That committee has submitted its report to the sports ministry earlier this month.

Besides Mary Kom, other members of the IOA Athletes Commission are table tennis star Achanta Sharath Kamal (vice chairperson), Olympic medallists Gagan Narang, Mirabai Chanu, P V Sindhu, Winter Olympian Shiva Keshavan, rower Bajrang Lal, fencer Bhavani Devi, hockey player Rani Rampal and former shot putter OP Karhana.

India's first individual Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra and former India hockey team captain Sardar Singh are also members of the Athletes Commission, representing International Olympic Committee and Olympic Council of Asia respectively.

The meeting of the Athletes Commission came two days after IOA chief P T Usha on Thursday came down heavily on the aggrieved wrestlers, saying they lacked discipline and their protest on the streets tarnished the image of the country.

Decorated wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik are the three central characters in the renewed protest against the Wrestling Federation of India president, who has been accused of sexual harassment and intimidation by the grapplers.

The Delhi Police on Friday filed two FIRs, including one under the POCSO Act, against the BJP MP, who has completed 12 years as WFI president and is ineligible to become an office bearer again.

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