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UWW lifts ban on Wrestling Federation of India, clears way for Olympic trials

Published at :February 14, 2024 at 2:21 PM
Modified at :February 14, 2024 at 5:48 PM
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(Courtesy : UWW)

Ajay Gandhar

Suspension was imposed on August 23 last year.

The United World Wrestling (UWW), the global governing body of the sport, has lifted the suspension on the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) with immediate effect, paving the way for athletes to compete under the national flag.

The suspension’s end allows Indian wrestlers to represent their nation at the upcoming UWW events, which includes Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan from April 19-21 and the World Olympic Qualifiers in Istanbul, Turkey from May 9-12. The suspension, which started on August 23 last year, forced the country’s wrestlers to participate as independent athletes under a UWW banner.

The suspension was due to WFI’s failure to hold elections within the stipulated time frame and operating without a president for six months. The UWW had also expressed concerns over the selection process of Indian wrestlers for major tournaments, alleging that there was discrimination and favoritism involved.

However, after a meeting of the UWW bureau on February 9, the suspension was revoked, following WFI’s assurance that it would comply with the UWW’s directives and regulations.

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WFI has been instructed to hold fresh elections for its Athletics Commission, which represents the interests of the wrestlers, by July 1. The candidates for the commission must be either active athletes or retired for no more than four years and only athletes will be eligible to vote in the election.

The Indian wrestling federation has also agreed to ensure that there will be no discrimination in the selection of Indian wrestlers for all WFI events, especially in trials for the Olympic Games or any other major and international tournament.

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