28 May 2015

Sex scandal rocks Sri Lankan cricket

2:59 pm on 28 May 2015

Sri Lankan cricket's governing body has announced the sacking of three officials after allegations that members of the women's national team were asked to perform sexual favours to keep their places.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said all three officials were shown the door at the end of their contracts last month after an internal inquiry found two of them guilty of sexual harassment and a third of improper conduct.

The board said in a statement that "there was no evidence of any physical intimacy" by any of the three men, none of whom have been named.

But the investigation had nevertheless determined that "there have been a few incidents of sexual harassment which were committed by two male officials" and that the third was guilty of "improper conduct... which did not amount to sexual harassment," the SLC said.

Under Sri Lankan law, anyone found guilty of sexual harassment can face up to five years in prison plus an unspecified fine.

The board said both its own report and the separate inquiry by the sports ministry had highlighted the "unsatisfactory situation" involving the women's team where there was "favouritism and bias".

Despite the sports ministry's weekend announcement, no charges have been brought against any official so far.

SLC said three male officials have been identified in the sex bribe scandal, however they said there are no grounds or evidence to justify criminal proceedings against them.

Sri Lanka's sports ministry last week revealed an investigation had found that members of the national women's team had been forced to perform sexual favours for officials in order to earn or keep their places in the squad.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said its has received the report which mentions cases of sexual harassments in 2013 and 2014 and much of it was corroborated in another report the board had separately commissioned.

"Both reports have concluded that, there have been a few incidents of sexual harassment which were committed by two male officials but that there was no evidence of any physical intimacy and that, there were no grounds to justify criminal proceedings," the SLC said in a statement.

Both the reports also identified a third male official for "improper conduct" which did not amount to sexual harassment, the statement read.

"Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to state that, all three officials who were identified in the reports no longer function in their previous positions since their contracts were not renewed when they ended in April this year," it added.

SLC said there were no allegations against any of the coaches or the selectors but admitted to flaws in its system and promised to rectify them.

"Sri Lanka Cricket is very concerned by the fact that, both reports have highlighted the unsatisfactory situation that prevailed in the selection and other aspects relating to women's cricket and widely prevalent perceptions of favouritism and bias."

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