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Indian Boxing at risk: Anti-Doping rule violation threatens Olympic Quota

Indian Boxing at risk: Anti-Doping rule violation threatens Olympic Quota

With the Olympics starting in July, the situation remains shrouded in uncertainty. The final Olympic boxing qualifier begins in Bangkok on May 25th.

India’s boxing contingent for the Paris Olympics 2024 faces a potential blow as a star boxer is embroiled in an anti-doping controversy. This could lead to India losing one of the four Olympic berths it secured.

The Accusation: Missed Whereabouts Information

The International Test Agency (ITA), responsible for anti-doping in Olympic boxing, alleges the boxer failed to file complete whereabouts information with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

This information, including home address, training details, and competition schedules, allows for surprise out-of-competition drug tests. Failing to provide accurate or complete details can lead to suspensions.

Medallist’s uncertain fate

The unnamed boxer, a World Championship and Asian Games medalist, secured an Olympic quota for India at last year’s Asian Games. However, if the ITA sanctions her, India could lose that quota spot.

Fighting for Olympic Quota

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is actively defending the boxer. They’ve submitted a response to the ITA and are negotiating to keep the quota. “We are working hard to ensure we keep the quota,” said BFI secretary general Hemanta Kalita to The Indian Express.

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Confidentiality and next steps

Both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and WADA refer inquiries to the ITA, emphasizing the independent nature of anti-doping investigations. The ITA hasn’t responded to requests for updates.

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Training Despite Uncertainty

While the other qualified boxers (Nikhat Zareen, Preeti Sai Pawar, Parveen Hooda, and Lovlina Borgohain) compete abroad, the accused boxer hasn’t fought competitively since the Asian Games. Despite this, she remains part of the training program and attends international training camps. “We are keeping her sharp if the decision comes in her favour,” said a team official.

Crucial Qualifier Awaits for Indian Boxers

With the Olympics starting in July, the situation remains shrouded in uncertainty. The final Olympic boxing qualifier begins in Bangkok on May 25th. Whether India retains the contested quota or needs to rely solely on the other qualified boxers will depend on the outcome of the anti-doping investigation.

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