Suspended weightlifting coach Ramesh Malhotra on Sunday denied charges of sexual harassment levelled against him by Olympic bronze medallist Karnam Malleswari, saying the allegations are "false and malicious".
The Sports Authority of India coach, who was nominated by the Indian Weightlifting Federation for this year's Dronacharya award, was suspended on Saturday after Malleswari alleged that he harassed junior lifters for over a decade.
Speaking to PTI before leaving for Delhi on Sunday afternoon, Malhotra said the IWF should ask the girls training under him to find out the truth.
"She (Malleswari) has stained my 26-year-old career in sports coaching. I will not let this put me down. I will battle for my reputation," he said.
"Malleswari thinks she can use her international fame to corner me on my reputation. I will prove her wrong," he added.
Malhotra insisted that the recording of his phone conversation with Malleswari, which forms the basis of her allegations, was made public in bits and pieces and gave a wrong impression.
"She has chosen to show that part of the conversation which suits her requirements. If she is so confident, let her come out with the complete conversation so that everyone knows what the truth is," he said.
The federation has named a three-member committee headed by IWF vice-president Kumbasi Subramanya, veteran coach Pal Sandhu and joint secretary Madan Lal Salvi to probe into the matter.
Asked why Malleswari would pick on him specifically, Malhotra said it could be because he backed lifters other than her in the run-up to the 2004 Olympics.
"She is trying to settle scores with me," he said.
Malhotra said if found guilty, he was ready to face the consequences.
"But if I am proved innocent then all those who made allegations against me must be punished," he said.