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AAI suspends Indian archery coach on account of misconduct with English girls' team

Sunil Kumar has been accused of objectionable behaviour with the English girls' team.

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News 17 Oct 2017, 22:33 IST
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Youth archery coach Sunil Kumar has been suspended by AAI after accusations of objectionable behaviour.
Youth archery coach Sunil Kumar has been suspended by AAI after accusations of objectionable behaviour.

What’s the story?

Indian archery coach, Sunil Kumar, who was a part of the Indian contingent for the World Archery Youth Championship, earlier this month, had been abruptly sent back to the country, allegedly for objectionable behaviour with members of the English archery contingent.

The coach has been suspended since then, as the Archery Association of India have launched an investigation into the matter.

In case you didn’t know…

The World Archery Youth Championship took place in Rosario, Argentina, between October 2 to 8. India came back without any medal from the event, but the young archers gained valuable experience from participating and competing with the best archers from around the world, in their respective age group.

Heart of the matter

After the incident was reported, Sunil Kumar was immediately sent back to New Delhi, and was even barred from entering the team hotel. Sunil Kumar’s actions are said to have been reported by a number of people, although there is not clarity, as of yet, as to what exactly transpired.

Many English and World Archery officials have reportedly asked for Sunil Kumar to be removed, not only from the event, but also from the team hotels, which points to a rather serious matter.

The coach, who had been roped in to aid the Indian junior contingent, sent an apology note, on October 4, admitting that he had “committed a big mistake” and that the “entire team was disturbed because of it”, according to Firstpost.

What’s next?

Despite his apology, it is unlikely that Sunil Kumar will get off easily after accepting such allegations against him. The Archery Association of India have already taken up the matter, and are further investigating the actions of the coach.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI), which most of the National Sports Federations in the country are affiliated to, are also said to be keen on taking action against Sunil Kumar. According to reports, the SAI has decided to write to Sunil Kumar’s employers Haryana Police about the matter. While there has yet to be an indication as to what action will be taken against Sunil Kumar, SAI’s stance on making an example out of him seems to be pretty clear.

Author’s take:

Sexual harassment is something that should never be taken lightly, especially in sports. A number of women have already come out with their experiences of sexual harassment cases in the world of sports, under the recently trending hashtag ‘#MeToo’.

While there has been little clarity on exactly what Sunil Kumar has done, his acceptance of his wrongdoing goes a long way in ascertaining that state of the matter. Now, it remains to be seen what action the concerned authorities take, in order to stamp sexual harassment out of not just archery, but the world of sports itself.

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