SAI orders inquiry into harassment charge by gymnast

The Sports Authority of India on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the sexual harassment charges levelled by former national-level women gymnasts against coach Manoj Rana and gymnast Chandan Pathak even as the two accused left for the Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea.

A police case was registered against Rana and 22-year-old Pathak for harassing the women gymnasts the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium during the national camp for the Games. The woman was not the part of the national squad but was practicing at the stadium under “Come and Play” scheme.

Rana, however, met SAI Director General Jiji Thomson before boarding the flight for Incheon. Thomson was of the view that the victim should have first registered a complaint with the SAI.
“She never complained to us but directly went to police. We would have taken an action immediately. We will begin our own inquiry and send a woman officer to the stadium. She will return with a report to us in three days,” Thomson said.

Thomson said he would first wait for the results of the inquiry before taking any action against Rana. “Rana is a good coach and he has been with us for the last few months. Even police have not approached us against him. Let us wait for the investigations to be over,” he said.

In fact, the Gymnastic Federation of India had formed a three-member committee on September 9 to look into the complaint of the woman gymnast. But when no concrete action was taken by them, she approached police.

The duo has been booked for intending to insult the modesty of the woman and for criminal intimidation act on Monday.

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