Since the Beijing Olympics Indian boxers have packed a punch, literally. After 2008, there hasn’t been a competition from where they returned medalless. The provisional ban on the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) by AIBA, the world body, therefore, seems like a technical knockout.
“It’s a sad day for the Indian boxing. Seeing the progress of our boxers, the world body should have encouraged us; rather their move will have an adverse affect on the sport in India,” said Beijing Olympic medallist Vijender Singh.
The world body has decided to provisionally ban IBF at its meeting on Thursday. “Further to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) suspension imposed on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee Bureau has decided today 6 December 2012 to provisionally suspend the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF).
This provisional suspension is also due to the fact that AIBA had learned about possible manipulation of the recent IABF’s election. AIBA will now investigate this election and especially a potential political link between IOA President, as former Chairman of the IABF, and the IABF election,” said an AIBA press release.
“I don’t know about the election procedure that the IBF has followed but when it comes to the interest of the boxers, the Indian federation always stood by us and contributed to our success. And I think the AIBA has taken one-sided decision. Even in the London Olympics we were given a raw deal and a couple of decisions were biased,” said Vijender.
If Indian boxers were barred from competing, it would hamper training for the 2014 Asian and Commonwealth Games as well as 2016 Olympics.
Next April, there is an Asian Championship and the world championships are scheduled for October. And apart from that India will be touring several countries in Europe and Asia for competition and training. The ban could stop all activity.
“Suspending Indian boxers from competing internationally will surely derail all the future plans. Foreign exposures plays an important role and denying Indian boxers a chance to compete will push us back by several years,” said Akhil Kumar, a World Cup medallist.