Indian boxers face uncertainty over Rio Olympics

In case there is no recognised national boxing federation by March 31, Indians may even be debarred from competing in the Asian Olympic qualifiers.

Indian boxers like Shiv Thapa (r) may lose out on a chance to compete in the Olympics because of federation politics.   -  PTI

Will the Indian boxers get a chance to take part in the Rio Summer Olympics? The tone of the letter from the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) suggests that if a national boxing federation is not put in place by March 31, the Indian boxers may have to sit out the 2016 Games. There is a possibility that they may even be debarred from the Asian qualifiers for the Olympics to be held in April and May. The first qualifier is in March.

 

The operative part of the letter from the AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu says: “In the event that the elections do not take place in accordance with AIBA requirements and by the above deadline, AIBA will have no option, but to review the current position of India boxing which may have an adverse effect on the eligibility of boxers for the Olympic Games.

“AlBA’s paramount concern is the welfare of the boxers, however the current situation where there is no recognised federation cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely as it will result in damage to the athletes and the sport.’’

The AIBA letter has been addressed to Kishen Narsi, Chairman of the ad hoc committee, the AIBA formed in May 2015 to administer the sport in India. The ad hoc committee comprising Kishen Narsi (Chairman), Manisha Malhotra, Injeti Srinivas, G. S. Sandhu and Jay Kowli (Convenor) was formed to enable Indian boxers to take part in international meets. The AIBA had also appointed former IOA Secretary General, Randhir Singh Gentle as advisor to the committee.

Referring to the AIBA commission meetings attended by Narsi and Kowli in February, Wu has written: “I refer to our recent meeting regarding the re-establishment of a national federation in India in accordance with AIBA Statutes. As discussed, AIBA requires that elections are organised as a matter of urgency to allow a national federation to be in place in advance of the upcoming Olympic Games. Please note that the elections must take place by March 31, 2016…I look forward to confirmation of the date for the elections as a matter of urgency.’’