Indian wrestling teetered on the edge of a deeper crisis with Sanjay Singh, President of the suspended WFI, on Monday declaring that they will soon organise the national championships and insisting that they neither recognise the suspension of their newly-elected body by Sports Ministry nor the ad-hoc panel. Three days after the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) held its polls, the ministry suspended the sports body citing several violations of rules on December 24. On the request of the government, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) then formed a three-member panel, headed by Bhupender Singh Bajwa, to manage the day-to-day affairs of the body. The other members of the committee are former hockey player M M Somaya and ex-shuttler Manjusha Kanwar.

The ad-hoc panel announced that it will host the senior national championships in Jaipur from February 2-5.

Sanjay, though, remained combative and said they will not co-operate with the ad-hoc panel and will organise the Nationals.

“We got elected democratically. The Returning Officer had signed the papers, how do they ignore that. We do not recognise this ad-hoc panel,” Sanjay told PTI.

Asked how will they organise they Nationals, he said, “We do not recognise this suspension. The WFI is working smoothly, we are on the job.” “How will they (ad-hoc panel) organise Nationals if our state associations will not send the teams. We will organise our National Championship soon. We are soon calling the Executive Committee meeting. The notice of the EC meeting will be sent in a day or two and we will have the Nationals organised before they do it.” If the WFI goes on to organise its own Nationals the crisis will take a turn for the worst.

“We had sent our explanation to the ministry that we have not flouted any rules. We are still awaiting a reply. We will wait for a day or two. If they do not want to engage with us, we are not also not interested then.

“Our federation does not recognise this suspension.” Indian wrestling has witnessed unprecedented power struggle in the last one year. In protest against Sanjay, who is a close aide of sexual harassment accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, becoming WFI president Bajrang Punia returned his Padma Shri and Vinesh Phogat returned her Arjuna Award and Khel Ratna.

Sakshi Malik had quit wrestling the day Sanjay won the WFI president’s election. PTI AT AT AH AH

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