Wrestling Federation of India President Sanjay Singh on Thursday said that the suspension of the sport body by the Centre is not acceptable and will be challenged in court, PTI reported.

Sanjay Singh was elected as the president of the wrestling federation on December 21. He had received 40 votes to the seven that 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist wrestler Anita Sheoran won in the elections.

He is a close aide of former wrestling federation chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who was forced to step down from his post last year after top wrestlers of the country accused him of sexual harassment.

Soon after Sanjay Singh’s election, Sakshi Malik, a bronze medallist from the 2016 Summer Olympics, had in protest announced her retirement from the sport.

On December 24, the Union sports ministry suspended the wrestling body. The development came after Sanjay Singh announced that Under-15 and Under-20 nationals for wrestling would take place in the Nandini Nagar area of Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district before the end of the year.

The district of Gonda is the stronghold of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is the MP from the Kaiserganj constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

The ministry had also noted that the work of the federation was being carried out from the premises controlled by its former office-bearers, which was where several wrestlers had been allegedly sexually harassed earlier. It added that the new wrestling body seemed to be in complete control of former office-bearers, in violation of the Sports Code.

On Thursday, Sanjay Singh said that the Federation will hold an Executive Committee meeting on January 16 to discuss the matter.

“We need a properly functioning federation. We are taking the matter to the court next week,” Singh told PTI. “This suspension is not acceptable to us because we were elected democratically.”

Currently, an ad-hoc panel constituted by the Indian Olympic Association manages the daily affairs of the sport. The elections, which took place last month, were to be held in July. They were delayed due to court cases that led to the United World Wrestling, the international governing body for the sport, to suspend India’s national-level body.

On Thursday, the new president of the suspended federation said that the ad-hoc panel was not equipped to deal with the upcoming wrestling tournaments.

“You have seen how the team for the Zagreb Open was announced,” he told PTI. “Five weight categories will go unrepresented. This will happen in the absence of a proper federation.”

Sanjay Singh’s remarks came a day after Malik had said that she has no problem with the newly-elected wrestling federation except its president.