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Scandals in Indian Sport: Moving beyond #SandpaperGate

Scandals in Indian Sport: Moving beyond #SandpaperGate

Press Releases

Published: 30 March 2018 2:20 PM GMT
#SandpaperGate has rocked the global news for quite some time now and, predictably, it has received mixed reactions from several quarters. While some have considered the 1 year ban meted out to Steve Smith by the ICC as too harsh, others feel it's a small price to pay for the sanctimonious and allegedly high handed way of cricket that the Aussies have always indulged in since time immemorial The most striking factor to come out of this incident was the casual way in which words like "crime" and "scandal" were thrown about. With most of the Australian core team who were involved in the ball tampering incident coming out to apologise, it is worth taking a look at criminal proceedings which have plagued sports in India for a very long time. From the more common yet equally grievous offense of doping to players being involved in sex-scandals, bribery and alleged cases of domestic violence, India has seen it all. Most of these actions have caused significant harm to other people and, majorly, justice is yet to be served in most. Maybe, the words "crime" and "scandal" can be aptly used to describe some standout moments of shame in Indian sports

1. Pinki Pramanik accused of raping live-in partner

The Asian Games gold medalist was wrapped in twin charges in 2012 when Pramanik was first declared to be male and was then arrested on charged with rape, impersonation, cheating, assault, intimidation, and cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of a lawful marriage.

2. Hockey Coach Charged with sexual harassment

In 2010, the coach of the women's hockey team, M.K. Kaushik was accused of sexually harassing team member Ranjita Devi. The entire squad backed her up on the accusation and threatened to boycott it if Kaushik was not removed. The entire incident resulted in Kaushik resigning.

3. Santhi Soundarajan Gender controversy

The Asian Games silver medalist was asked to take a gender test, following which it was announced that she "does not possess the sexual characteristics of a woman". Once the results of the test were received, she was stripped off her Asian Games silver medal.In a 2016 video petition, Santhi Soundarajan disclosed that she has been told she has androgen insensitivity syndrome.

4. Para-swimmer Prasanta Karmakar taking pictures without consent

This March, a number of para-swimmers claimed that the Arjuna winning para-swimmer Prasanta Karmakar recording videos of female swimmers at the National Swimming Championships after being asked to do so by associate. He was then suspended three years by the Paralympic Committee of India.

5. Leander Paes/Mahesh Bhupathi break up

The early days bromance of Lee-Hesh could easily have inspired the popular meme template, "Still a better love story than twilight". Yet, the pair hit a point of no return after their ego clashes entangled their professional as well as personal lives. From girlfriends to resentment about coaches, getting picked or not picked in Davis Cup squads- the feud between India's favourite duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi never really fizzled out.

6. Kanchanmala Pande allegedly begging in Berlin

Last year in July, Kanchanmala Pande took part in the Para Swimming World Series in Berlin and won silver. But that's not why she was in the news. According to her, she was left in the lurch without food or money and had to almost resort to begging on the street. While this evoked the sentiments in the public, there is a massive gray area regarding the truth of her statement.
Also read: 'Forced to beg in Berlin': How Kanchanmala Pande may have taken advantage of public sympathy
She had apparently knowing fully well that she would be bearing the expenses on her own while another source claimed that she had taken a loan of 5 lakhs, none of which explained the kind of dire situation she claimed to be in.

7. Indian Hockey Federation GenSec accepting bribe on camera

In 2008, Kandaswamy Jothikumaran who had served as the secretary-general of the Indian Hockey Federation was reportedly caught on a sting operation accepting Rs.2,00,000 to organise an international tournament and demanded another 300,000 rupees once the tournament was approved.

8. Narsingh Yadav's Doping Scandal

Ahead of the Rio Olympics in 2016, Narsingh failed to clear the dope test not once but twice and in spite of being eventually cleared by NADA, he was debarred by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and was handed a ban. The controversy was given a new twist when it was alleged that his food had been spiked by a junior wrestler from Sushil Kumar's training base.

9. N Srinivasan and the Conflict of Interest

"Conflict of interest" is a term which has been thrown around quite a lot and a major cricketing scandal back in 2013 was no different. The IPL spot fixing scandal involving Chennai Super Kings, which forced owner and then BCCI chief N Srinivasan to step down, saw his son-in law Gurunath Meiyappan come out as the main culprit for trading inside information to bookies. He was mainly charged under section 66A of the Information Technology Act, sections 4 and 5 of the Gambling Act among other.

10. Mohammad Shami's infidelity accusation by his wife

While Indian fans have loads to say on the Ball tampering scandal surrounding Australia, here's a reminder that Indian cricket has their own baggage to deal with. The India team bowler was recently accused by his wife of infidelity and torture. She went on to provide screenshots of conversations as proof but the bowler was cleared of accusations by the BCCI.

11. Sushil Kumar vs. Parveen Rana brawl

It's not every day that you get to read the words "I did not bite him" in a news concerning two prime athletes of the country. But a fight between the two fan bases of Sushil Kumar and Parveen Rana snowballed to such extents.According to Rana, Sushil Kumar not only bit him but also asked his supporters to manhandle Rana after the Commonwealth Games selection trials.
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