Sakshi quits wrestling after Brij Bhushan loyalist becomes WFI chief

New Delhi: Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik on Thursday announced her retirement from the sport, protesting against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh loyalist Sanjay Singh winning the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) election for the top job, here.

Sanjay, a close associate of outgoing WFI chief Brij Bhushan became the new WFI president with his panel winning 13 of the 15 posts in the elections here on Thursday.

“We fought from our heart but if a man like Brij Bhushan, his business partner and a close aide is elected as the president of WFI, I quit wrestling,” said a teary-eyed Sakshi, and kept her shoes on the table in a dramatic announcement.

Ahead of the elections, Oylmpic-medal-winning grapplers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi had repeatedly requested Sports Minister Anurag Thakur to stop anyone associated with Brij Bhushan from contesting the WFI polls

Consequently, neither Brij Bhushan’s son Prateek nor son-in-law Vishal Singh entered the fray. Bajrang and Vinesh Phogat, who addressed the media after the elections, did not say whether they will retire from the sport.

“It’s unfortunate that the government did not stand by its word that no Brij Bhushan loyalist will contest WFI election,” Bajrang said. “Upcoming women wrestlers will also face exploitation,” Vinesh added.