United World Wrestling (UWW) is ready to lift the suspension of the Wrestling Federation of India when elections are done and due process is followed.
On the occasion of the 141st session of the International Olympic Committee in Mumbai, UWW Chied Nenad Lalovic said," We will be happy to lift the suspension when the election is done. At the moment there is a lot of administration work going in the background done by ad-hoc committee and UWW together."
UWW suspended WFI in August on the grounds of governance as the ad-hoc committee appointed by the Sports Ministry failed to conduct fresh elections in the stipulated.
However, Indian wrestlers participated under the UWW banner in the World Championships and will continue doing so.
"By suspending the federation, we did not suspend the athletes. And you know that they are competing and will continue to compete no matter what happens," said Lalovic.
The WFI elections, supposed to take place in August, got delayed multiple times due to different court cases filed by member associations. With the next hearing scheduled on 3rd November in the Supreme Court, it is expected that normalcy will be restored in WFI after the election.
“India is a huge country with a huge number of athletes, but that complicates additionally the selection and preparation of athletes. For that, a strong national federation is needed, otherwise, the athletes suffer," Lalovic said.
Not interfering in Brij Bhushan's case but will hear the athlete's voice
UWW Chief made it clear that the apex body won't interfere with the legal proceedings of the sexual harassment case against Ex-WFI Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh but will be available to support its athletes.
Seven wrestlers, including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik and Asian Games gold winner Vinesh Phogat, had alleged that Singh had sexually harassed female grapplers.
The Delhi police had filed a charge sheet against Singh on June 15. After prolonged protests, led by Vinesh, Bajrang, and Sakshi, the Delhi Police filed a chargesheet against the six-time MP under various sexual offence charges.
"We followed what happened during the Wrestler's protest but since this case is followed by the Indian authorities, we will not interfere in that except if athletes approach us again for some reason. We listen to the voices of the athletes no matter where they come from,” Lalovic said.
Indian wrestling contingent returned with six medals from the recently concluded Asian Games with a poor show in the men's wrestling.