After Allegations of Sexual Harassment, SAI Terminates Cycling Coach's Contract

The cycling coach's contract has been terminated with immediate effect.

2 min read
Hindi Female

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has terminated the contract of national cycling coach RK Sharma following a senior female cyclist's allegations of sexual harassment during the team's training tour of Slovenia.

'The Sports Authority of India had constituted an enquiry committee to hear the case of a National level cyclist's complaint against a coach of inappropriate behaviour during a foreign exposure trip in Slovenia which was organised by the Cycling Federation of India. The committee has submitted its preliminary report today and Prima facia the case is established and the allegations of the athlete are found to be true,' read the statement shared by the Sports Authority of India.


'Following the report, SAI has terminated the contact of the coach with immediate effect,' it further added.

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


Whole Cycling Contingent Called Back

Earlier on Wednesday, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) decided to call the entire Indian cycling contingent back from Slovenia from the training-cum-competition trip. The endurance cycling contingent, consisting of five male and a female, flew to Slovenia on May 15 and was scheduled to return on June 14. While the female cyclist had returned home on 4 June after experiencing many instances of untoward behaviour from the coach, including him asking her to share a room with him, and on another day, barging into her room and pulling her forcibly onto the bed.

The training-cum-competition trip to Slovenia was arranged to help Indian team prepare well for the Asian Track Cycling Championships, scheduled to be held in the national capital from 18 to 22 June.

The female cyclist had apprised the SAI of inappropriate behaviour by coach during her stay in Slovenia and had said she was so terrified that she feared for her life.

The matter had come to light on Monday when SAI issued a statement, saying it has called the cyclist back to ensure her safety.

The complainant claimed that the coach forced her to share a hotel room with him on the pretext that accommodation has been arranged on twin-sharing basis. Later on her request, SAI arranged for a separate single room for her but the coach did not take her to Germany for an event along with the other members of the contingent for putting up resistance.

The coach threatened the cyclist that he will destroy her career by having her removed from the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) if she will not sleep with him, according to the complaint.

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