Guwahati: A day after India’s Olympic medalist and ace boxer Lovlina Borgohain accused the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) of continued harassment ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG), the Federation later said it has the support staff of the playing contingent of 12 boxers. expanded from four to eight.
The development comes after shocking claims from ace boxer and Olympic medalist Lovlina Borgohain and the subsequent response from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and BFI.
Earlier on Monday, Borgohain tweeted allegations of “continuous harassment” by the BFI after her coach Sandhya Gurung was denied entry to train her at the Games village in Birmingham as part of the 2022 CWG.
The 24-year-old boxer claimed that her coaching schedule has been disrupted due to the bullying her coaches face as they are not allowed to enter the premises where she is currently training.
In response to Lovlina’s claims, BFI’s secretary general Hemanta Kalita told Sportstar magazine on Monday that the federation tried to obtain accreditation for Lovlina’s coach Sandhya Gurung but was unsuccessful.
“The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) awarded 25 percent officials out of the total number of athletes. We have 12 athletes, so we have four officials. After that we made a request and we got four more. This includes coaches, a doctor, physio, etc. We have put Sandhya Gurung’s name on the long list, we have asked for her admission, the SAI has also sanctioned her name, but the IOA is not doing it,” Kalita had said .
However, after facing serious backlash, an official statement later on Monday claimed that 33 percent of the playing contingent had been allowed to serve as support staff.
In the case of the BFI for the 12 boxers, eight men and four women, this number stands at four support staff, including coaches, who would travel with the team to Birmingham, where the matches will be held.
“Boxing’s requirements regarding coaches and support staff are a bit different, as there are multiple periods, which can be one after the other. The IOA understood BFI’s position and therefore expanded assistance with maximum possible additional support staff. With the help of IOA, the number of support staff has increased from 4 to 8 for the entire contingent of 12 boxers,” the release said.
“BFI arranged for Sandhya Gurung to be at the training camp in Ireland. BFI is working closely with IOA so that Sandhya Gurung can join the team in Birmingham. In the meantime, all transport and accommodation for the delegate at ETO’s hotel has been arranged,” the press release said.
Speaking exclusively with EastMojo from Birmingham, Sandhya Gurung had said: “What Lovlina has raised is understandable. I have a valid accreditation as a coach. That’s why I can’t be stopped. I can’t stay with the players. We can’t meet the players because I don’t have accreditation for that yet.”
The problem, it turned out, was only with Sandhya Gurung’s accreditation, which validated Borgohain’s claims of harassment by the BFI.
“For now, the fault is only with me, there are 3 coaches for the men’s team and besides me there are two others for the ladies. I’m here for the women’s team. Of the three of us, I’m the only one rejected because I don’t have an accreditation card,” Gurung had said.
Sandhya claimed that Lovlina was upset because she was unable to train on Monday morning, 4 days before the tournament.
“We were in Ireland and we arrived here last night. The training lasted four days in Ireland. We have to train here before the Games start on July 29. We were supposed to train in the morning, but that didn’t happen, that’s why she responded,” Gurung said.
Also read | Lovlina’s coach denied entry at CWG 2022, boxer alleges harassment