Indian cycle coach sacked after sexual harassment claim

By: AFP
Published: 01:15 PM, 9 Jun, 2022
Indian cycle coach sacked after sexual harassment claim
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An Indian coach accused of sexually harassing a top female cyclist and threatening to derail her career when she rejected his advances has been sacked by national sport authorities.

The cyclist -- who has not been named -- claimed national sprint team coach RK Sharma had attempted to "forcefully" coerce her into sleeping with him at a hotel during a training camp in Slovenia.

"He made comments such as I should behave like his wife as he is extremely fond of me and wants me to be his wife," the athlete said in a written complaint reported by the Indian Express newspaper on Wednesday.

"I was extremely scared for my safety, wellbeing and life."

The cyclist said Sharma had also threatened to destroy her career by having her removed from an elite sports academy and ensuring she would be left to "sell vegetables on the road". 

The Sports of Authority of India (SAI) sacked the coach on Wednesday and the entire Indian cycling contingent was instructed to return home from Slovenia, a week before the training camp was due to finish.

"The allegations of the athlete are found to be true," the SAI said in a statement, adding Sharma's contract had been terminated with "immediate effect". 

"The committee will continue a detailed investigation into the case and submit a final report."

India's cycling team were in Slovenia to prepare for the Asian Track Cycling Championships, scheduled to be held in Delhi later this month.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.