Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hockey hits rock bottom with sex scam

Indian hockey, in the news for all the wrong reasons in recent times, plunged to new depths on Tuesday with allegations of harassment against chief coach MK Kaushik levelled by some women players.
One of the 5 e-mailed pictures, purportedly of videographer Basavraj with sex workers, sent to Hockey India by an anonymous source.
In addition, a videographer with the team has been sacked on charges of having affairs with call-girls and sex workers during the team's recent tours to China and Canada.
Hockey India (HI) received an anonymous e-mail last week with five pictures of the videographer, Basavraj, with sex-workers.
HI has set up a committee headed by Rajiv Mehta - comprising Ajitpal Singh, Zafar Iqbal and Anupam Gulati - to look into the matter.
When the sports ministry was informed of the matter, it instructed HI to include a woman in the panel, after which Sudarshan Pathak was drafted in the committee.
"The videographer was sacked after the first meeting of the committee on Monday and a final decision on the matter will be taken within four-five days," Mehta told MAIL TODAY. The second meeting of the committee is scheduled on Wednesday.
To make matters worse, a probable has also alleged that longstanding coach Kaushik, architect of the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games gold medal for the men's team, with harassment and using vulgar language.
"The allegations are specifically against Kaushik and we have set up an inquiry to look into the matter," Mehta said.
"The player mentioned that this was going on since March this year." The team is scheduled to leave for the first Asian Champions Trophy (July 27- 31 in Busan, South Korea) on Thursday, but Kaushik will not accompany the players. "He told us that till the inquiry is completed, he is not interested in going with the team," Mehta said.
According to a source, some players were asked for sexual favours by members of the team management, who are all male.
"There were two-three complaints against the videographer which prompted HI to set up the inquiry committee.
"There were also allegations of players being asked for sexual favours and were threatened that they may lose their spot in the squad," the source said.
HI secretary general Narinder Batra said if any member of the team management was found guilty in the case, he will face a life ban. He assure the complaining players had nothing to fear and the charges will be treated seriously.
"It is a shameful chapter in Indian hockey. I would also like to urge the player to file a formal police complaint. The other players should also come forward with their grievances.
"They don't have to worry about their future selection and safety. Hockey India will help them financially if they want to go to court," Batra said.
The scandal comes to light a week before Hockey India election.
President Vidya Stokes, 82, filed her nomination against the government guidelines that put an age cap of 70 for the post.
Former national captain Pargat Singh, who is up against Stokes in the election, said "it is shocking to hear about such scandalous stories in our national sport. Hockey India will have to explain in detail all this before the election."

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