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“Sanjay is not my relative, I have retired from wrestling”: Brij Bhushan reacts to suspension of newly elected committee

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New Delhi [India]: BJP MP and former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh stated that he has “retired” from the sport and has “nothing to do with it” following the Union Sports Ministry’s decision to suspend the newly elected sport’s premier governing body in the country along with all its office-bearers on Sunday.

The decision of the Sports Ministry came close on the heels of the newly elected WFI president Sanjay Singh announcing the hosting of the U-15 and U-20 nationals at Nandini Nagar in the Gond district of Uttar Pradesh by the end of the year.

After the Union Sports Ministry suspended the newly elected body of WFI, former chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh gave his first reaction to the verdict and said, “The elections were held in a democratic way on the direction of the Supreme Court and the body was formed. Now it’s their (federation members) decision if they wish to talk to the government or take the legal course of action. I have nothing to do with this.”

“Sanjay Singh is not my relative. The announcement to hold U-15 and U-20 nationals in Nandini Nagar was to ensure sports events should resume. It was held in Nandini Nagar because all federations stated that they wouldn’t be able to make preparations for the tournament in four to five days. I have worked 12 years for the wrestlers. Time will tell if I have done justice. I have broken my ties with wrestling. Now decisions and talks with the government will be done by the elected people of the federation. I have retired from wrestling,” Brij Bhushan added.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Singh skirted comments on the Centre’s decision, telling reporters, “I was on a flight. I don’t know the details and have not received any letter yet. I will make a public statement only after going through the letter. I have heard that some decisions have been reversed.”

The Sports Ministry released a press release to label WFI’s decision to host the competition as “complete disregard to the sports code.”

“The decisions made by the newly elected executive body of the WFI demonstrate a blatant disregard for the established legal and procedural norms, violating both the WFI’s constitutional provisions and the National Sports Development Code. The newly elected body appeared to be in complete control of former office bearers in complete disregard to the Sports Code. The business of the Federation is being run from the premises controlled by former office bearers,” the ministry added.

On Thursday, when the much-awaited WFI elections were finally concluded, Sanjay Singh was appointed as the new chief, an aide of the former WFT President Brih Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Soon after victory of Sanjay Singh in the WFI elections, Brij Bhushan said, “This is not my personal victory, this is the victory of the wrestlers of the country. All wrestling activities were stopped for 11 months. I hope that after the formation of the new federation, wrestling events will resume which were paused for the past 11 months.”

“A message has been given. Every akhaada in the country is bursting firecrackers. Dabdabaa tha, dabdabaa rahega!. I want to give the credit of victory to the wrestlers of the country and the electors.I want to thank the government as well. The elections were done on instructions of the Supreme Court and the Centre had submitted the PIL for this. Elections were held by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Centre went ahead to make sure elections happened and a non-partisan person was chosen as president. This ‘grahan’ of 11 months on wrestling is over. Within 10 days, the landscape of wrestling will change again and we will perform in the Olympics the way people want us to,” Brij Bhushan added.

An hour later, Sakshi, distraught and emotional, broke down as she left the venue announcing her retirement from wrestling while addressing a press conference in the national capital.

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