In first head to roll amid wrestling row, Sports Ministry suspends WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar

New Delhi, January 21

The Union Ministry of Sports announced the suspension of Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), on Saturday.

The suspended WFI official denied any communication regarding his suspension, stating that this news reached him through ANI when the news agency contacted him to get a reaction to this announcement.

“I did not know about this. I only learned through a call from ANI that I have been suspended. I did not get any prior information regarding this. I have not done anything wrong,” Vinod Tomar, told ANI on Saturday.

Tomar on Saturday termed the charges against the federation’s president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh ‘baseless’.

Speaking to ANI, Tomar said the wrestlers, who sat in a dharna at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar and levelled allegations of sexual harassment and financial impropriety against the WFI president, have not produced any evidence to support their claims.

“The allegations are baseless. It has been 3-4 days (since the wrestlers sat in protest) and they still haven’t produced any evidence. I have been associated with them for the past 12 years and I never came across any such incident or allegation,” Tomar told ANI.

He added that the WFI president has stepped aside from his post pending the probe against him by the Union Sports ministry.

“He has stepped aside from his post till the ongoing investigation against him concludes. He hasn’t resigned but has distanced himself from the day-to-day affairs of the WFI, pending the probe,” Tomar added.

After getting guarantees from the government that their grievances against the WFI chief and other top office bearers would be redressed, the Indian wrestlers called off their protest late on Friday night.

After late-night parleys with the protesting star grapplers, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur announced that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will ‘step aside’ from the day-to-day affairs of the WFI till the seven-member ‘oversight committee’ led by Olympian MC Marykom completes its inquiry into the allegations against him.

The probe committee has been given a mandate of four weeks to submit its report, the minister added.

Read More | Source: The Tribune