Government approves participation of wrestlers in ranking series Zagreb Open

The government has cleared a 55-member Indian wrestling contingent, including Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, to participate in the Zagreb Open Grand Prix to be held from February 1 to 5. The newly appointed monitoring committee has selected 12 women, 11 Greco-Roman and 13 men freestyle wrestlers for this first tournament of the ranking series. The team also includes Olympic silver medalists Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Anshu Malik and Deepak Punia, according to a Sports Ministry release. It has been said in the release that the entire expenditure of this tour will be borne by the government.

The Sports Ministry had earlier this week constituted a five-member monitoring committee to look into the sexual harassment allegations leveled against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. This committee is entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the day to day work of WFI. The committee, headed by veteran boxer MC Mary Kom, includes former wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, former badminton player and Mission Olympic Cell member Trupti Murgunde, former TOPS CEO Rajagopalan and former Sports Authority of India (SAI) executive director (sports) Radhika Sriman. .

The wrestlers, however, expressed disappointment that their views were not taken before forming the committee. Last week, several wrestlers, including Bajrang, Vinesh and Ravi Dahiya, staged a three-day dharna at Jantar Mantar demanding the sacking of the WFI president. The wrestlers had accused Sharan of being dictatorial and sexually harassing junior wrestlers. The wrestlers, however, did not reveal the identity of the players who were allegedly sexually assaulted. Sharan is also a BJP MP.

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