New Delhi: The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on Thursday decided to refer the case involving top foreign coach Stanislav Lapidus, accused of seeking sexual favours from junior shooters, to its Athletes Commission that also includes complainants Anjali Bhagwat and Suma Shirur.
According to sources close to NRAI, the two experienced shooters Bhagwat and Shirur will be asked to recuse themselves from the commission, which is headed by Arjuna awardee Moraad Ali Khan.
For the time being though, the NRAI supported Lapidus, saying it "continues to repose faith" on the Kazakh.
"Based on our preliminary enquiry with some of the complainants as well as other official coaches and people concerned the the federation, we found no substance in the allegation of sexual overtures against the coach. We continue to repose faith on our coach Lapidus," NRAI President Raninder Singh said.
He added," As of now there is no truth in the allegation. We stand by the coach firmly."
The 63-year-old rifle coach, who has been training the Indian shooters since his appointment in 2009, as per media reports, 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 allegations couldn't be proved.
However, it agreed to refer the matter to the Athletes Commission and, based on its recommendations, the federation will take the next step.
The commission will sit after the ISSF Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan, which started today.
Even before joining the Indian team six years ago, Lapidus had trained Beijing Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and senior shooter Bhagwat.