Indian boxing men’s team coach Santiago Nieva (right) is facing the heat for the needle incident at Commonwealth Games 2018.(Facebook)
Indian boxing men’s team coach Santiago Nieva (right) is facing the heat for the needle incident at Commonwealth Games 2018.(Facebook)

Commonwealth Games 2018: Boxing coach, doctor under scanner after needle incident

Syringes were found near Indian boxers’ accommodation at the Commonwealth Games 2018 village violating ‘no needle policy’ adopted by the Games Federation
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Navneet Singh
UPDATED ON APR 02, 2018 11:55 PM IST

The Boxing federation of India (BFI) top brass went into a huddle on Monday to discuss their next course of action after India’s high performance director and men’s team coach Santiago Nieva claimed that one of the boxers was administered vitamin shot by the team doctor, at their Commonwealth Games 2018 accommodation, as he was unwell.

It has been learnt that Santiago and team doctor Amol Patil are under the scanner.

The incident has violated ‘no needle policy’ adopted by the Commonwealth Games Federation and embarrassed the Indian contingent. India’s chef de mission Vikram Sisodia and other officials have been called for a hearing on Tuesday.

Team doctor Patil, who was part of the boxing squad as an ‘extra official’ may face action from BFI. Foreign coach Nieva, who was recently appreciated for India’s performance at international level, is also under scrutiny.

Nieva, a former national coach of Sweden and International Boxing Association’s coaches’ commission vice chairman, has told the official broadcaster that there was no doping violation but admitted that one boxer had to be given an injection because he was unwell.

The incident has raised eyebrows as the boxers and the support staff seemed to be unaware of the ‘no-needle policy’ of the CGF.

However, national camp coordinator Rajesh Bhandari said they had circulated CGF’s protocol to the squad.

“He (Santiago) has vast international experience and such incidents show him in poor light. I am wondering why he didn’t take the boxer to the health centre for treatment,” said Bhandari.

According to Bhandari, both coach and medical officer were at fault. “They should have followed the protocol. We had circulated CWG’s no-needle policy. Despite that they made such a big mistake,” he added.

The Maharashtra based medical officer Patil has been associated with the women’s team since last year. “He (Patil) has done a course in sports medicine and before joining the boxing team he was very popular with the players,” a national level coach said in condition of anonymity.

The federation, however, is tightlipped at the moment. An official associated with the national camp said the matter is being discussed at the meeting.

BFI secretary general Jay Kowli said he can’t talk on the issue at the moment. “I can’t comment anything at the moment,” was all he said in his response.

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