The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Friday formed a seven-member committee to probe the allegations of sexual harassment against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Members of the committee were Mary Kom, Dola Banerjee, Alaknanda Ashok, Yogeshwar Dutt, Sahdev Yadav and two advocates.
Earlier, the protesting wrestlers had written a letter to the Indian Olympic Association President PT Usha. The letter, which was signed by the likes of Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia, accused the Wrestling Federation of India President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh to have sexually harassed several young wrestlers. The letter also listed four demands.
"We will sit and listen to everyone and do an unbiased investigation after looking at the charges and try to give a fair justice," Sahdev Yadav, Indian Weightlifting Federation President and member of the 7-member Committee formed by IOA told ANI.
"I just came to know from the media that I am a part of this committee. Let us start the work and then we will say what is the exact picture. We ensure that the truth will come out in front of everyone," Archer Dola Banerjee told ANI.
In the demands, the letter states, "We request the IOA to immediately appoint a committee to enquire into the complaints of sexual harassment, resignation of the WFI President, dissolution of the WFI, and a new committee should be formed to run the affairs of the WFI in consultation with the wrestlers."
The letter also mentioned that wrestler Vinesh Phogat was mentally harassed and tortured by the WFI president after she missed bagging a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and she almost contemplated suicide. The wrestlers mention that "there has been financial misappropriation on the part of WFI." They have also stated that coaches and sports science staff in the national camp are "absolutely incompetent and not on merit."
IOA President PT Usha on Thursday had stated that the athletes should come forward to voice their concerns. "As IOA President, I've been discussing the current matter of wrestlers with the members and for all of us, the welfare and well-being of the athletes is the top most priority of IOA. We request athletes to come forward and voice their concerns with us," Usha wrote on Thursday. She added, "We will ensure a complete investigation to ensure justice. We also have decided to form a special committee to deal with such situations that may arise in the future, for swifter action," she had posted on her social media handle.