The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Saturday suspended Vinod Tomar, the assistant Secretary of the Wrestling Federation of India following protests by top Indian wrestlers against the Federation.
“The Sports Ministry has issued an order to suspend the Assistant Secretary of WFI Vinod Tomar, with immediate effect to ensure proper functioning of WFI,” the Sports Ministry said in a statement.
The order stated that “The salary of Vinod Tomar was being reimbursed to the WFI by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) from the funds allocated under the scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations.”
“The Ministry has taken note of the reports about the functioning of the WFI, including the role of Shri Vinod Tomar and, has the reasons to believe that his continued presence will be detrimental to the development of this High Priority Discipline,” the order further stated.
Tomar had been engaged as Assistant secretary at the Wrestling Federation of Indian since 2002. While the wrestlers who had been protesting at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar had primarily been demanding the resignation of WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh who had been accused of sexual exploitation, they had also made allegations of financial impropriety against Tomar.
The protests had been called off early on Saturday morning after the Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had announced that the WFI president would step aside for four weeks until an oversight committee could investigate the allegations of sexual harassment and financial impropriety. The committee was also oversee the day-to-day affairs of the federation.
The ministry further stated on Saturday that the WFI was directed to suspend all ongoing activities with immediate effect until the oversight committee is formally appointed. As such the ministry said that they had asked the WFI to cancel the ongoing Open Ranking tournament in Gonda and return the entry fees charged to participants for the event.