New Delhi: National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh on Thursday rubbished reports that he called shooter Anjali Bhagwat a liar following her complaint against rifle coach Stanislav Lapidus, who was accused of seeking sexual favours from junior shooters.
Responding to a query on the sidelines of announcing the Indian shooting teams for the upcoming 8th Asian Air Gun Championship and the 13th Asian Shooting Championship, Raninder said, "Out of 60 lines of the joint complaint received from some shooters, only three lines alluded to an issue of alleged sexual harassment. Post conducting preliminary enquiries, all I said was that we found the charges to be unsubstantiated. I never called her a liar."
The NRAI had earlier this month decided to refer the case involving the top foreign coach to its Athletes Commission, which is headed by former India shooter and Arjuna awardee Moraad Ali Khan.
The 63-year-old rifle coach, who has been training the Indian shooters since his appointment in 2009, allegedly sought sexual favours from the country's junior shooters during the ISSF World Cup in Munich in May.
The NRAI dismissed the allegations against Lapidus, saying the claims couldn't be proved and added it "continues to repose faith" on the Kazakh.
Raninder today said, "I denounce this (claims that he called Bhagwat a liar). I have the highest faith and respect for her. We think very highly of our athletes, specially these two young ladies (Anjali and Suma Shirur, who was also one of the signatories in the complaint letter) in question, with whom we work very closely.
"We have received specific complaints regarding non-cooperation of the coach and remedial measures have been taken. This particular issue has now been referred to Athletes commission and any further action will only be taken post advise given by them."
Morad said it will take some time, at least November this year, before any conclusion can be reached on this issue and with less than a year to go for the Rio Olympics, it has been advised to deal with it "very responsibly".
Even before joining the Indian team six years ago, Lapidus had trained Beijing Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and senior shooter Bhagwat.