Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been in the headlines owing to the protest against him by the country’s leading wrestlers who have accused the 66-year-old of sexual harassment against several women wrestlers. And now in an old video doing the rounds on social media, Singh can be seen slapping a young wrestler on stage in the middle of a ceremony.

Singh, also a Member of Parliament from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh, was visibly angry with the wrestler and hit him at an U-15 Wrestling Championship at the Shaheed Ganpat Rai Indoor Stadium in Khel Village in Jharkhand’s Ranchi in 2021. With him under the scanner after the recent protests against him, the video has resurfaced online with several people are re-tweeting it.

In his defense, Singh had said that the wrestler who was slapped was actually an accused of an age fraud at the U-15 Championship. 

“This boy came over to the stage and urged to take part in the championship while he was found guilty of age fraud. I didn’t allow him and politely told him to go down from the stage as we already disqualified 5 more wrestlers who were found guilty of doing age fraud and all they belong from UP, not only from UP, I didn’t allow any player who is over age whether he belongs from Delhi, Haryana or any state, If I start doing this on basis of states then I can’t develop wrestling in country,” Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

For the unversed, in an unprecedented move, the country’s top wrestlers including Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia and World Championship medallist Vinesh Phogat are protesting against the Wrestling Federation of India at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. They have alleged the WFI President and coaches of physical harassment and demand sweeping changes in the federation including the axing of Singh as the WFI President.

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