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Woman cyclist accuses India coach of ‘inappropriate behaviour’

The complainant was “immediately” brought back to India “to ensure her safety”, SAI said in a statement. The SAI and Cycling Federation of India (CFI) have formed two separate inquiry committees to look into the allegation.

The swift action on the cyclist’s complaint is a welcome departure from how similar cases have been dealt with in the past. (Representative Image/Getty)

A TOP Indian woman cyclist has accused the national sprint team chief coach R K Sharma of “inappropriate behaviour” during a camp in Slovenia, according to officials. The Indian Express has learnt that the complaint was submitted in an email sent to SAI (Sports Authority of India).

The complainant was “immediately” brought back to India “to ensure her safety”, SAI said in a statement. The SAI and Cycling Federation of India (CFI) have formed two separate inquiry committees to look into the allegation.

Issuing a statement, the CFI identified the complainant and the coach — and said that its officials “stand with the complainant”.

In a separate statement, SAI confirmed that it “has received a complaint from a cyclist of inappropriate behaviour by a coach during a foreign exposure camp in Slovenia”.

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“Following the complaint by the athlete, SAI has immediately brought her back to India to ensure her safety and has also constituted a committee to investigate the matter,” it said, adding that the “matter is being dealt (with) on priority and will be resolved shortly”.

The cyclist was a part of the Indian team that was in Slovenia to prepare for the Asian Championship, which will be held in New Delhi from June 18 to 22. The coach and the rest of the Indian cyclists are expected to return to India on June 14.

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Sharma has been involved with the team since 2014. The former Air Force HR manager has been a part of India’s junior and senior cycling programmes for the past eight years.

“The coach was appointed on the recommendation of the Cycling Federation of India,” SAI said.

The CFI said the “decision of the committee formed by the SAI will have the full support of the federation”. The federation’s own probe committee comprises CFI secretary-general Maninder Pal Singh, Kerala cycling president SS Sudeesh Kumar, Maharashtra coach Dipali Nikam and CFI assistant secretary V N Singh.

First published on: 07-06-2022 at 04:08:05 am
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