Indian Female Cyclist Accuses Coach Of Harassment; SAI Calls Back Contingent From Slovenia

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has called back the entire Indian cycling contingent from Slovenia and has also formed a committee to look into the matter.

By Subhasish Dutta
Wed, 08 Jun 2022 12:09 PM IST
Minute Read
Indian Female Cyclist Accuses Coach Of Harassment; SAI Calls Back Contingent From Slovenia
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New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: A female cyclist has accused chief coach RK Sharma of "inappropriate behaviour" during the team's training-cum-competition trip to Slovenia. Following the complaint, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Wednesday decided to call the entire Indian contingent back to the country.

The Indian contingent, including five male and one female cyclists, was scheduled to return on June 14. The camp was the preparatory camp for Asian Track Cycling Championships which is scheduled in Delhi from June 18 to 22.

Meanwhile, SAI has already called back the cyclist who made the allegations and formed a committee to investigate the matter.

The Cycling Federation of India (CFI) Chairman Onkar Singh told PTI that SAI has made the decision to cut short the training trip.

"SAI official called up CFI this morning and said all the contingent including coach RK Sharma will be called back immediately from Slovenia," Singh said.

It has been learnt that SAI also shot off a separate missive to coach Sharma to return as soon as possible.

In her complaint to the SAI, the female cyclist has levelled some serious accusations against RK Sharma, alleging that the coach "forced himself into her room" on the pretext of "offering a post-training massage", as per a report in The Indian Express.

The report further said that the cyclist has alleged that the coach "forcefully" tried to pull her towards him and asked her to "sleep with him" during the camp in Slovenia last month.

"The complaint states that Sharma allegedly told the cyclist that he 'wants' her 'to be his wife'. When she resisted, the complaint alleges, the coach threatened to destroy her career by 'removing her from the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE)', and making sure she would sell vegetables on the road," the Indian Express report said.

Meanwhile, the CFI in a statement said: "We have received a complaint against the Chief coach (SPRINT) of the Indian National team, Mr RK Sharma regarding inappropriate behaviour during the Training cum Competition Foreign exposure Trip at Slovenia. This camp was the preparatory camp for Asian Track Cycling Championships which is scheduled at Delhi from 18-22 June 2022."

"The CFI stands with the Complainant and has already convened to Sports Authority of India and the complainant that the decision of the Committee formed by the SAI will have the full support of the Federation on the decision," the statement added.

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