When P T Usha broke down over the safety of girls at her academy

Protesting wrestlers hit back at Usha and accused her of not understanding the plight of woman athletes
Last Updated : 29 April 2023, 13:47 IST

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Former athlete and current president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) PT Usha recently came under fire for her comments about the ongoing protests launched by wrestlers in New Delhi.

Usha on Thursday had said the grapplers lacked discipline as they hit the streets to resume their protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. She also said they were ‘tarnishing the country’s image’.

Amid the flak that the comments generated, many, including the protesting athletes, recalled how the legendary athlete once broke down on camera, alleging hooliganism and encroachment at her athletics academy.

On February 4, Usha urged the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to address the issue and had expressed fear for the safety of female athletes at the Usha School of Athletics. She further claimed that after she became a Member of Rajya Sabha, the incidence of trespassers in her academy had increased.

Protesting wrestlers hit back at Usha and accused her of not understanding the plight of woman athletes. “Where's [the] indiscipline here, we are sitting here peacefully... She herself cried in front of the media regarding her academy," wrestler Sakshi Malik was reported as saying.

Usha's comments even drew ire from political leaders, some of whom accused her of being a "political mouthpiece" of the government.

The wrestlers have been protesting for five days now demanding action against Singh, also a BJP MP, on sexual harassment allegations levelled by seven women players. The Delhi Police on Friday filed two FIRs against the WFI chief.

Published 29 April 2023, 10:19 IST

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