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Sports Ministry issues legal warning to suspended WFI body, cautions legal action

New Delhi: The Union Sports Ministry has issued a strict warning to the suspended Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Sanjay Singh, over the committee's unsubstantial claims regarding the recognition from the government as well as "absolutely baseless and mischievous" claims of holding competitions.

Sanjay had previously stated that the WFI will conduct the Senior National Wrestling Championship 2023 at Pune (Maharashtra) from January 29 to 31.

In a letter addressed to the president of the suspended WFI body, Sanjay Singh, the Sports Ministry reiterated that any tournament hosted by them would be considered "unsanctioned and unrecognized competitions."

The ministry stated that such claims are causing confusion and anxiety among the athletes.

"Certain completely baseless statements have emerged which are causing confusion and anxiety among the athletes and others concerned with Wrestling. Further, certain claims are being made by you pertaining to the recognition of the currently under-suspension Executive Committee of the WFI and about the competitions being held by you at Pune are being made, which are again absolutely baseless and mischievous," the Sports Ministry wrote in a letter addressed to Sanjay Singh.

"The Ministry has already vide its letter dated 7.1.2024, addressed to you and copies of which were endorsed to affiliate units of WFI and State Governments/Union Territories, made this entire issue categorically clear. It is once again informed that any championships or competitions organized by the suspended Executive Committee members of WFI, will be treated as unsanctioned and unrecognized competitions," the letter further stated.

The Ministry suspended the WFI body three days later after the newly elected WFI president Sanjay Singh announced the hosting of the U-15 and U-20 nationals at Nandini Nagar in the Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh by the end of the last year.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was instructed by the ministry to form an ad-hoc committee to manage and control the affairs of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

Sanjay Singh has declined to recognize the ad-hoc committee and stated "We are an autonomous body, it cannot be banned."

The Sports Ministry advised the suspended body to abstain from making claims that the WFI body has been recognized by the government as the failure could lead to legal action.

"In light of the above, you are hereby strongly advised to desist from making any further unsubstantiated claims regarding the status of the Wrestling Federation of India. Please be advised that failure to adhere to this caution may compel the Ministry to consider further legal action, including but not limited to legal proceedings for spreading misinformation and unsubstantiated claims and any other," the ministry stated in its letter. 

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