A TOP Indian cyclist has accused national sprint team coach RK Sharma of “inappropriate behavior” during a camp in Slovenia, officials said. The Indian Express has been informed that the complaint was made in an email sent to SAI (Sports Authority of India).
The complainant was “immediately” returned to India “to ensure her safety,” SAI said in a statement. The SAI and Cycling Federation of India (CFI) have formed two separate commissions of inquiry to investigate the allegation.
By issuing a statement, the CFI identified the complainant and the coach – and said its officials “support the complainant”.
In a separate statement, SAI confirmed it has “received a complaint from a cyclist about inappropriate behavior by a coach during a foreign exposure camp in Slovenia”.
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“Following the athlete’s complaint, SAI immediately returned her to India to ensure her safety and has also formed a committee to investigate the matter,” it said, adding that the “issue is being treated as a matter of priority and will be resolved soon”.
The cyclist was 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 in June. 14.
Sharma has been involved with the team since 2014. The former Air Force HR manager has been part of India’s junior and senior cycling programs for the past eight years.
“The coach has been appointed on the recommendation of the Cycling Federation of India,” said SAI.
The CFI said the “decision of the commission formed by the HCI will have the full support of the federation”. The federation’s own Commission of Inquiry consists of CFI Secretary General Maninder Pal Singh, Kerala Cycling Chairman SS Sudeesh Kumar, Maharashtra Coach Dipali Nikam and CFI Assistant Secretary VN Singh.