New Delhi: rocked by two complaints of harassment by female athletes against their respective coaches, Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Wednesday required national sports federations (NSFs) to include a female coach in their contingents, if women at home and abroad participate.
In light of recent events, SAI Director-General Sandip Pradhan was in touch with officials from more than 15 NSFs, which will field athletes at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, on Monday to discuss the new protocols.
A female cyclist had recently accused head coach RK Sharma of “inappropriate behavior” in Slovenia and also filed an FIR against him. The coach was fired and faces a detailed investigation.
A female sailor had also complained that her coach made her uncomfortable during a training trip in Germany, although she did not complain about sexual harassment.
According to the SAI release, the NSFs are charged with a few “responsibilities” including: “Women’s coach to mandatorily accompany the contingent with female athletes on domestic/international travel.”
NSFs have been asked to appoint Compliance Officer (male and female) at all national coaching camps and overseas exposures.
The Compliance Officer’s roles and responsibilities include communicating regularly with athletes and others to ensure guidelines are followed and to enforce standard procedure for preventing sexual harassment in sport.
“Among other duties, they must ensure that if a member reports a violation, it must be reported to the responsible authorities as soon as possible,” the press release said.
The federations have also been asked to “design pre-camp awareness modules and “present them together to all athletes, coaches and support staff prior to commencement of a national coaching camp and foreign exposure.”
SAI also asked the NSFs to represent more women in their coaching departments.
“The guidelines will help ensure a safe and positive environment, raising awareness among all stakeholders that there is an expectation of appropriate conduct at all times consistent with the core values of sportsmanship and appropriate moral conduct.”
“SAI considers ethical conduct to be a cornerstone in the fair governance of the sports disciplines,” the release added.
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