New Delhi, July 21: Indian Hockey was rocked by a fresh controversy with a member of the women’s team sending a written complaint alleging sexual harassment against one of the coaching staff.
The women member alleged that one of the coaching staff had asked for sexual favours and used vulgar language during a recent Canada and China tour.
Following the complaint, Hockey India has set up a four-member committee to probe the allegation, Hockey India general secretary Narendra Batra said.
The committee comprises Rajiv Mehta, as its chairman and former players Zaffer Iqbal and Ajit Pal Singh and Sudharsan Pathak, Batra said.
"Today, a women team member has mailed me a written complaint of sexual harassment, usage of vulgar language, and asking for sexual favours against a coaching staff," Batra told PTI.
Batra said he had also received an anonymous mail last Friday, where allegations had been levelled against the videographer of the team for having being involved in a sexual orgy with prostitutes during the foreign tour.
He said five photographs of the videographer with the prostitutes had also been mailed to him.
Batra said the Sport Ministry had been apprised of the complaints. Government had suggested a lady representative be appointed in the committee and hence Pathak was inducted.
"The committee had its first meeting yesterday and decided that the videographer will not be accompanying the team on upcoming tours pending the inquiry.
Batra also said such complaints will be looked at seriously and assured that there will be no harassment or intimidation of those making the allegations.
"I would also like to urge the player to file a formal police complain. The other players should also come forward with their grivances. They don’t have to worry about their future selection and safety. Hockey India will help them fiancially if they want to go to court," Batra said.
Batra said the disciplinary committe will meet again tomorrow to take stock of the situation.
"The committee will have a meeting tomorrow and we are confident of completing the investigation within 4-5 days. Whoever is found guilty, Hockey India will impose life ban on him," Batra announced.
"It is a shameful chapter in Indian hockey. It is a very serious issue and we will deal within with a firm hand," he added.
Indian hockey for the last two decades has fallen drastically from its glorious days as every other day a fresh controversy rocks the sport.
In a shameful episode, two years back, Indian hockey had been rocked by another controversy when Hockey Federation (IHF) general secretary Jyothi Kumaran was seen taking money in leau of selection of a player into India’s national Team.
Another controversy cropped up earlier this year when Indian players refused to continue their preparatory camps for the world cup because their dues were not cleared. The players demanded Rs 4.5 lakh each as ’dues’ for their 2009 showing, a graded contract system, daily allowance during camp days and match days as well as match fees. PTI