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ANURITA Saini, the former manager of the national women's hockey team, on Tuesday slapped legal notices on four players for bringing her name into disrepute.

She was distressed that her name was dragged into the sexual harassment controversy involving former coach MK Kaushik.

Saini, who was with the team till the 2006 Doha Asian Games, charged former captain Helen Mary, Rosalind Ralte, Sanggai Chanu and Dipika Murthy with sullying her reputation by alleging that she had an affair with Kaushik.

" The girls were not acting in good faith and they have tarnished my reputation with such malicious comments. I demand that they withdraw their statements," Saini told MAIL TODAY . " Their statements to various television channels have caused harm to my name. My lawyer has issued a legal notice against them," she said.

The 1982 Asian Games gold medallist alleged that the statements were a result of vested interests and part of a larger conspiracy.

Saini has issued a notice under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, which deal with defamation.

She wants the four players to retract their statements within seven days and demanded damages amounting to ` 20 lakh.

" I left the game four years back. Why did they wait so long before making such allegations? They just want to harm the game," Saini said.

TH Ranjitha Devi, a fringe player, has accused Kaushik of sexual harassment due to which the coach had to step down.

" The senior players want to have a coach of their choice. Otherwise, why will they speak against Kaushik now after playing under him for such a long time," the former manager said.

" They thought the coach was too strict and did not want to follow his instructions." Saini said she will take up the matter with the sports ministry if she did not get the desired outcome soon.

" I will meet sports minister MS Gill and ask him to look into the matter if I don't get justice," she said.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jul 28, 2010
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