National Coach RK Sharma has been accused of harassing India’s top woman cyclist in a complaint to the Sports Authority of India (SAI). According to the complainant, Sharma allegedly forced himself into her room and harassed the cyclist on May 29 as the team was touring Slovenia.
In a report by the NDTV, it has come to light that the woman had alleged that the coach asked her to “become his wife.”
National Coach Accused Of Harassment: 10 Things About The Case
- A panel by SAI and another by the CFI have been set up to investigate the matter. According to the Sports Authority of India, after the complaint by the athlete, they immediately brought her back to India ensuring her safety.
- The SAI also committed to further investigation into the matter which is being dealt with on priority and be resolved shortly, it said. There were reportedly no women coaches on the Slovenia tour.
- As part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme, the cyclist had informed Olympic Gold Quest before registering a complaint with the CEO of TOPS, Commodore PK Garg.
- The Indian endurance contingent comprised five men and one woman cyclist. Scheduled to return on June 14 from Slovenia, the chairman of CFI, Onkar Singh told PTI that SAI made its decision to reduce the duration of the training trip.
- According to Onkar Singh, the SAI official called up the CFI this morning to inform them that all the contingent including coach RK Sharma would be called back soon from Slovenia. The SAI has also summoned a separate communication coach to Sharma to return shortly.
- The complaint also claimed that the coach regularly kept making threatening comments with regard to the woman’s career and told her that she would be removed from cycling and that he allegedly would ensure, she “sold vegetables” on the road.
- “I continue to not have any words to describe the extreme mental agony, shock and fear that I continue to feel till this very moment,” the woman cyclist said in her complaint.
- Adding that she feared for her “life” R K Sharma allegedly forced himself into her room, offering a “post-training massage”, “forcefully” trying to pull her towards him, and asking her to “sleep with him”, during a camp in Slovenia last month, according to her complaint which was emailed to the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
- Upon reaching the hotel in Slovenia on May 16, the complaint also claimed, that she requested a separate room but Sharma allegedly responded in a “rude and dismissive manner” telling her that she should have “stayed back in India”.
- The Cycling Federation of India (CFI) on Wednesday recounted the Indian contingent from their Slovenia tour while acting on the SAI instructions, as per PTI reports. The cyclist returned to India on June 3.