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AIBA punches IABF hard, suspends boxing body

Wednesday, 5 March 2014 - 6:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Indian boxers to participate under world governing body flag till new set of officials take charge after fresh elections
  • India’s joy of participating under the national flag was short lived as AIBA excluded the IABF from its membership. Getty Images

After the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revoked the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) suspension last month, the country in general and sports fraternity in particular heaved a sigh of relief. Relieved that the Indians could participate under the Tri-colour in the upcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow in July.Unfortunately, the relief is short-lived.There is every possibility that the Indian boxing contingent would be asked to walk under the AIBA flag following the International Boxing Federation's (AIBA) decision to exclude Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) from its membership late on Monday night.The portents of this are enormous, as much as the ignominy it would bring to the country.

The implications have rattled the boxing fraternity and the IABF itself. If this happens, only the Indian boxers would be asked to walk separately under the AIBA flag in Glasgow, the first of its kind for any country.In a strongly-worded statement, the AIBA said it is not in a position to make a "proper" judgement on how to handle India's case after receiving conflicting communications from various stakeholders."Indian boxers should be saved this embarrassment. And this can only happen if IABF conducts its elections as per AIBA directives as soon as possible.

We have to understand that there is hardly any time left before the Commonwealth Games," said former boxer Akhil Kumar on Tuesday."How would it look if our boxers are forced to walk separately at the inaugural ceremony and not under the Tri-colour?" asked the 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist.Though Akhil felt indebted to sports ministry and Sports Authority of India (SAI) for providing all the necessary facilities to the Indian boxers even during the course of IABF's suspension in the last 14 months, he said time has come to rise above personal egos and agendas.

Senior IABF officials told dna that though the election dispute had been going on for a very long time, the AIBA was forced to take this unprecedented step after they received a letter from the newly-elected IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta a few days back where he asked the international body to "recognise the same old IABF body till the elections are held in future"."IOA secretary apparently wrote this letter under immense pressure of Abhey Singh Chautala, whose brother-in-law is the president of IABF. What was the necessity to provoke the world body when it was clear that such a recommendation would definitely invite wrath," asked a senior IABF official on condition of anonymity.

AIBA president Ching Kuo Wu said the IABF is unlikely to be re-recognised till the time a new set of officials takes charge after fresh elections, the screening of candidates for which would be done by the world body."As AIBA president and on behalf of the entire boxing family, I am expressing my deepest regret and sadness that we had to make this decision," stated Dr Wu.It must be mentioned here that no state or the national boxing championships have taken place since December 2012. The AIBA suspended IABF on December 5, 2012, citing IOC's suspension on the IOA and alleged malpractices in IABF election on September 23, 2012.shekhar.

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