Another athlete accuses sexual harassment, official denies

Another athlete accuses sexual harassment, official denies

Kumar, however, denied the allegations and said that he will give documentary evidence to rebut the charges to the committee appointed by the Athletics Federation of India yesterday after Priyanka's accusations.

Sprinter Namita, who represented India in 2008 South Asian Games in Kochi and won a 200m bronze in the Federation Cup in Ranchi last year, told PTI that Kumar was harassing her for the last three years for snubbing his advances.

"Being an AFI technical official, Anu will be there in all national competitions, doing the job of making entries for participants, giving chest numbers, deciding the lane number (for 200m). He will make dirty advances to many women athletes and if we snubbed him, he will threaten us that our career would be finished," Namita, a Railways employee, said over phone.

"I have come to know that he would drop my name from entry lists in national competitions and also in Railway meets so as to harass me for snubbing his advances. If I make a complaint he would tell me to come to meet him and he will solve the issues. He has been making the advances for the last three years," she said.

Kumar, who works as a Railway Travel Ticket Examiner (TTE), said he was being subjected to wild allegations and dared the two women athletes to prove them.
"You can accuse anybody but you have to prove them. They should prove the charges. I will give documentary evidence to the AFI Committee against the accusations made by Priyanka and Namita," he told PTI from Ranchi where he is an official for the National Games.

"Both the two women athletes train under the same coach and they are friends, and so it's no surprise that Namita is also making accusations to me. They have been main rivals for my wife (Nidhi, also a sprinter)," said Kumar, also Uttar Pradesh Athletics Association joint secretary.

Namita said that she has decided to come out in the open after Priyanka did the same and she would make a formal complaint to the AFI if required.

"This man threatens me not to make any complaints against him. He would say I will face dire consequences if I make complaints," she said.

"I am bringing out the harassment meted out to me because it is the right time after Priyanka has done the same. I will also make a complain to the AFI and other officials now," she added.

Namita gave a particular instance of harassment meted out to her during the National Open Athletics Meet last year and she had to turn out to AFI due to the problems created by Kumar.

"When the list of entries was issued the day before my race, I found out that my name was not there. I approached the organising officials who told me that Anu had struck my name off. I had to run here and there the night talking to one official after another and I got my chest number just a few hours before my race," said Namita.

Kumar, however, said that Namita's name was entered in Railways relay team and she wanted to run in 100m to which he refused.

"She was in relay team and not in 100m. She wanted to run in 100m which I refused because there were two other entries in 100m from Railways. So I had to refuse," he said.

Sources said Kumar normally gets a free hand in the entry of the participants in national meets and he would drop athletes from competitions in the absence of AFI officials.
Namita said Kumar would harass women athletes who would compete against his wife Nidhi, also a sprinter.

"I beat her in the Inter-Railways Championships and then he harassed me after that," she said.

Yesterday, the AFI formed a five-member committee to probe into allegations of sexual harassment by Uttar Pradesh sprinter Priyanka.

Senior AFI vice-president K Ranga Rao will head the committee ans will submit a report within 15 days.

Priyanka said she had formally submitted a complaint to the Uttar Pradesh State Athletics Association while their parents have already lodged a complaint to a police station in Muzaffarnagar leading to registration of an FIR.