Suspended weightlifting coach denies allegations of sexual harassment

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Patiala (Punjab)/ New Delhi, July 26 (ANI): Suspended Indian weightlifting coach Ramesh Malhotra has denied the allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him by Olympic bronze medallist Karnam Malleswari.

The coach asserted that he is clean and that Malleswari was utilizing the media for publicity.

"She was out and nobody even remembered her. After Kaushik episode she had something cooking in her mind that yes I too can make a comeback in the media if I make such allegations against someone," said Malhotra.

Malleswari, said she was forced to approach the media after her requests for sacking the coach went unheeded.

"I requested the federation that it is not good to keep him. Despite that he is being sent out with the junior team and is being specially attached to girls, he could have been kept with men as well. The children are upset and were looking up to me with hope that as a lifter and official atleast she will help us," said Malleswari in New Delhi.

"I have now come into the federation as vice president. After two to three months into the federation during the Udaipur nationals when I saw his name as a part of the selection committee I immediately pointed it out to the committee that he has done such things in the past and if we still continue with him it will be harmful for the junior children. So don't keep him, but as no one heard me or removed him I was compelled to do this," she added.

The Indian Weightlifting Federation has now set up a three-member committee to probe into the matter.

The federation had earlier nominated Malhotra for this year's Dronacharya Award, but he was later suspended after Malleswari alleged him of sexually harassing junior lifters for more than a decade. By Sunil Sharma (ANI)

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