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SAI Makes It Mandatory For Female Coaches To Accompany Female Athletes On Tours After Misconduct Allegations Against Male Coaches

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We’ve heard several allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment being made by female athletes against male coaches. In the last few weeks, there have been about 3 to 4 such cases that have come to light. In May-end, gymnast Aruna Budda Reddy had alleged that she was videographed without her consent by one of the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) coaches during her physical fitness test in March. Recently, a national cyclist had also levelled sexual harassment allegations against a coach. She had alleged that during their time in Slovenia, the coach forced her to share a hotel room with her and had threatened her among other instances of harassment. A woman sailor had also accused a coach of making her feel uncomfortable. Amid all these allegations the Sports Authority of India announced that women coaches will now accompany a contingent that has female athletes for their safety.

SAI has issued these guidelines to the National Sports Federation of India (NSFOI) for all international and domestic travel. In an official statement, the body said that “ethical conduct” is essential for the fair administration of sports. It went on to add that everyone from the athletes to the administrative offices involved in sports deserved a safe environment, free of harassment and discrimination.

Also Read: Video Of Men Assaulting 2 Women In China For Resisting Sexual Harassment Has Sparked Nationwide Outrage Over Women’s Safety

SAI added that compliance officers (both men and women) will be appointed for all national coaching camps and foreign trips and they will regularly communicate with the athletes and other parties to ensure that everything is proper in order to prevent sexual harassment. These officials will also have to ensure that complaints reach the concerned authorities at the earliest. The sports body also plans to hold a pre-camp sensitisation for all athletes, coaches and support staff and aims to increase the strength of female coaches and support staff as well.

Also Read: Delhi Woman Reports A Sexual Harassment Case On Twitter, Says Police On Ground Failed To Help!

While we do not know if and how this will help but we’re glad that SAI is taking the initiative to safeguard the female athletes and ensure that they have a safe space as they work towards making our country proud.

Photo Credits: SAI website

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