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Story Highlights

  • SAI arrested after two complaints of harassment against a trainer
  • It has been made mandatory to include a female coach in the squad

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has taken a major step after two player harassment complaints against their coach. On Wednesday, it was made mandatory for National Sports Federations (NSFs) to include a female coach in the squad in case of female participation in competitions held both domestically and overseas.

In light of the recent developments, SAI Chief Executive Sandeep Pradhan spoke with more than 15 NSF officials on Monday to discuss the new protocol that will send players to the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

Complaints from female cyclists and vendors

A female cyclist recently accused head coach RK Sharma of “inappropriate behavior” in Slovenia and filed an FIR against him. The coach was then sacked and a detailed investigation is underway against him.

A sailor had also filed a complaint for making her feel uncomfortable during a training tour in Germany, although she did not complain of physical harassment.

According to the SAI statement, “certain responsibilities” have been assigned to NSFs, including the requirement to have a female coach on the team in case a female athlete travels for national and international competition.

NSFs were asked to appoint Compliance Officers (male and female) to all National Coaching Camps and Overseas Tours.

This process to stop physical harassment

The Compliance Officer’s role and responsibilities will include communicating regularly with Athletes and others to ensure guidelines are followed as well as enforcing standard operating procedures to prevent physical abuse in sport.

“Among other obligations, they must also ensure that if a member reports a violation, it must be reported to the responsible authorities at the earliest opportunity,” the statement said.

Federations have also been asked to design a “pre-camp awareness module” and submit it to all players, coaches and support staff before the start of any national coaching camp and overseas tours.

SAI asked DSFs to increase the representation of women in their coaching departments.

“These guidelines will help to ensure a safe and positive environment and make all stakeholders aware that they must at all times behave fairly in accordance with the core values ​​of fair play and proper ethical conduct,” said the SAI.

The statement said SAI views ethical conduct as the cornerstone of fair administration in sporting events.

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