Photo of injured pole vaulter Anuj(HT Sports)
Photo of injured pole vaulter Anuj(HT Sports)

India pole-vaulter alleges assault by coach at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium

Anuj claims the coach attacked him on refusing to promise that he will only train under him
By Navneet Singh | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 03, 2020 12:40 AM IST

An international-level pole vaulter Anuj, a trainee of the national pole vault academy running from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here, was injured after a scuffle with Devinder Kumar, an assistance coach of the facility, late Tuesday evening.

The incident happened after 10pm within the premises of the JLN Stadium. While the injured athlete was immediately rushed to Safdarjung Hospital after he suffered a deep cut above his right eyebrow, the coach left for home.

The 25-year-old Anuj received seven stitches and was later discharged from the hospital at midnight. He filed a complaint at the local Lodhi Road Police Station on Wednesday.

Anuj was on November 19 shifted to the JLN Stadium-based academy from Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre in Sonepat, Haryana. He was undergoing quarantine at the academy and was to start functioning from this week.

Devender, the coach, arrived at the stadium on Tuesday evening to pay Rs 25,000 that he had borrowed some months back from Anuj.

“After giving the money, he (coach) asked me to give in writing that I’ll only train under him (Devender) and not the other coach of the academy (PC Tyagi). When I refused, he starting beating me,” alleged Anuj.

The coach was defensive in his response. “I was having a friendly chat with him inside my car and without provocation he hit me,” said the coach, who is on deputation from the Railways. He was reluctant to answer what was the urgency to come late in the evening.

The incident highlights the security concern of the athletes staying at the JLN Stadium. The stadium’s administrator Sunita Baral says she wasn’t aware of the incident. “Will probe and let you know,” was her response.

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