Former national weightlifting coach Ramesh Kumar Malhotra has been exonerated of sexual harassment charges levelled in July last year. The three-member Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) panel constituted to look into the issue that had rocked the sport gave a clean chit to the Sports Authority of India expert, saying there was no evidence to prove any wrongdoing.
"Since there wasn't any complainant, the committee had no option but to close the issue," said a panel member.
Despite being cleared of allegation, levelled by Olympic bronze-medallist Karnam Malleswari, Malhotra will have to wait to return to the national coaching scene, as the IWF too had suspended him following the allegations.
The federation will first have to seek the mandate of its executive committee and general body before the coach can return. The IWF general body will take place during the national championships in March.
IWF secretary-general Sahdev Yadav said the path to reinstate Malhotra had been cleared. "Once his name is cleared by our general body, he should be back to coaching the national squad," he said.
Though the coach has been out of the national scene for some time, he is currently guiding trainees at Bangalore's SAI centre.