Sakshi Malik, a distinguished wrestler, announced her retirement from the sport following Sanjay Kumar Singh’s victory as the new chief of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on December 21.
Sanjay Singh’s triumph over Anita Sheoran with a resounding 40 votes to 7 reflects a significant shift in WFI’s leadership, aligning the organization with Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s circle.
Wrestlers’ Protests Thwarted
Despite vehement protests led by prominent wrestlers like Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik against Brij Bhushan, the election results underscore a setback for their campaign.
The trio’s efforts to sway the wrestling community against the incumbent leadership fell short, leading to the ascendancy of a close ally of the BJP MP.
During a press briefing in Delhi, Malik, disillusioned by the outcome, expressed her decision to retire from wrestling, citing the persistent struggle against the status quo.
“We slept on the roads for 40 days, seeking support. If Brij Bhushan Singh’s business partner assumes the WFI presidency, I quit wrestling,” Malik firmly asserted.
Addressing the media alongside Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, Malik emphasized the demand for female representation in leadership roles, pointing out the absence of women in positions of influence.
“We advocated for a woman president to prevent harassment. But no women were granted positions. We fought hard, but the struggle continues for the new generation of wrestlers,” Malik highlighted.
Sanjay Kumar Singh, with ties to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and hailing from Varanasi, shares a close bond with Brij Bhushan.
The wrestling community previously conveyed their apprehensions about Singh’s leadership to Sports Minister Anurag Thakur during a meeting this month.