Indian para-swimmer handed three-year suspension after allegedly recording videos of female swimmers
On Thursday, the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) handed a three-year suspension to Indian para-swimmer Prasanta Karmakar over charges of recording videos of female swimmers at last year's National Swimming Championships in Jaipur.
Karmakar is one of the most decorated athletes in India and has several accolades to his name. The para-swimmer, who hails from Bengal, was the first disabled swimmer to represent the country at the World Swimming Championships in 2003, where he even went on to win a medal. He won India’s first ever medal in aquatics at the Commonwealth Games when he bagged the bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Nonetheless, several athletes lodged a complaint against Karmakar during last year's National Championships for recording their videos without their consent.
Dr V K Dabas, Chairman of Para-swimming, PCI, told Sportskeeda over the phone, "It was reported last year in March during National Para-swimming Championships. A number of female swimmers complained against Karmakar and so, a committee was formed. The committee has come to the decision where they have found Karmakar is guilty."
According to a statement released by PCI later in the day, Karmakar had apparently asked one of his associates to film female swimmers during the event. After the parents of the swimmers objected to it, Dr Dabas intervened and stopped the person.
However, soon after, another complaint was lodged. This time it was Karmakar who himself was recording the videos despite the parents' objections. When asked to delete the videos from his camera, Karmakar argued that he wanted to see written objections. As many as seven people came forward and yet, Karmakar refused to delete the videos. The 37-year-old was then detained by the police until he agreed to delete the said videos.
When Sportskeeda tried to get to get in touch with the swimmer, he was unreachable at that time. However, according to reports Karmakar, who was the coach of the swimming squad that represented India at the 2016 Rio Paralympic games, has denied all allegations and has cried 'pre-planned conspiracy'.