The United World Wrestling (UWW) has revoked the membership of the Indian Wrestling Federation due to the lack of elections within the federation. This decision comes as a consequence of the postponed elections in the Indian Wrestling Federation. As a result, Indian wrestlers will not be able to compete under the Indian flag in the upcoming World Wrestling Championship. Instead, they will be required to participate as “neutral athletes” in the Olympic-qualifying World Championship scheduled to begin on September 16.
The delay in the Indian Wrestling Federation’s elections stemmed from the expiration of the term of its former president, Brijbhushan Sharan Singh. Subsequent attempts to hold elections were marred by legal disputes in various high courts across different states, which led to ongoing postponements.
The United World Wrestling had previously indicated that if the elections were not held on time, the membership of the Indian Wrestling Federation could be terminated. With the continued delays and uncertainty surrounding the elections, UWW has officially cancelled the membership of the Indian Wrestling Federation.
The elections for the Indian Wrestling Federation were initially scheduled for June 2023. However, due to legal disputes and challenges from various state wrestling associations, the elections faced multiple delays, leading to a stalemate. The organization’s inability to hold elections within the stipulated timeframe resulted in the United World Wrestling’s decision to cancel their membership.
Earlier this year, the term of former president Brijbhushan Sharan Singh had ended. Despite this, he was removed from his role earlier due to allegations of sexual harassment against women wrestlers. The athletes had also criticized the functioning of the federation. The daily affairs of the Indian Wrestling Federation are currently being managed by a committee established by the Indian Olympic Association, headed by Brij Bhushan Bajwa.