SAI comes up with new guidelines for safety of women athletes
In the past few weeks, the nation was rocked by two harassment complaints by female athletes, against their respective coaches, which has forced SAI to take necessary steps. The SAI has now made it mandatory for federations to include a woman coach if female athletes are competing at home or abroad.
SAI Director General Sandip Pradhan interacted with officials of over 15 NSFs, which will field athletes in the upcoming Commonwealth Games. All this started when a female cyclist accused chief coach RK Sharma of “inappropriate behavior" in Slovenia and had also filed an FIR against him. Following the complaint, the coach was sacked.
One female sailor too came forward and told that a coach made her feel uncomfortable during a training trip in Germany, although she did not complain of sexual harassment. As per a release by SAI, one of the responsibilities of the NSFs is, "Women Coach to mandatorily accompany the contingent with female athletes during Domestic/International Travel."
NSFs have been asked to appoint Compliance Officer (male & female) at all National Coaching Camps and Foreign Exposures. The role of these officers will be to communicate regularly with athletes, and ensure that the guidelines are being followed.
“Among other duties, they should ensure that if any member reports a violation, the same should be reported earliest to the responsible authorities," the release added. SAI also asked the NSFs to have more representation of women in their coaching departments.
“The guidelines will help ensure a safe and positive environment, making all stakeholders aware that there is an expectation, at all times, of appropriate behavior consistent with the core values of sportsmanship and appropriate moral conduct."