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Boxing | Amateur

Mary Kom © Gallo Images

Double blow for Indian federation

The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation lost its government support hours after being suspended by the International Amateur Boxing Association on Friday.

The Federation was suspended for not following proper electoral procedures.

The announcements came within four days of the Indian Olympic Association being suspended by the International Olympic Committee, leaving sports administrator Abhay Singh Chautala's position in peril.

Chautala is the chairman of the boxing body and was elected president of the IOA on Wednesday. The elections have been declared null and void by the IOC.

The government now also does not recognise the Archery Federation of India for failing to follow a code relating to age and tenure restrictions. It rendered illegal 81-year-old Vijay Kumar Malhotra's election as president for a tenth term.

The government acted early on Friday after an overnight announcement from the AIBA.

"Further to the IOC's suspension imposed on the IOA, the AIBA executive committee bureau has decided ... to provisionally suspend the IABF," the world body said in a statement after a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"This provisional suspension is also due to the fact that AIBA had learnt 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."

The sports ministry also cited improper election procedures, including how the electoral roll was finalised and nominations accepted.

"A notice will be sent to the IABF to confirm that they will hold fresh elections under independent supervision within a period of 15 days," sports minister Jitendra Singh said.

He added that if it was not followed through, the move to isolate the body will become permanent.

"We want to ensure that our athletes do not suffer, and so will be making arrangements for their training till the matter is sorted out."

Chautala denied any flaw in the process of the elections, which resulted in his brother-in-law Abhishek Matoria replacing him as president.

"We conducted our elections in a proper manner," Chautala said from New Delhi. "We're ready to hold the elections all over again under the supervision of the world body if they so desire.

“They are even free to determine the date and venue for the elections. I'm even ready to resign as chairman if that serves any purpose."

The developments are a setback to the country's Olympic disciplines, which are improving after an unprecedented six medals won at this year's London Olympics.

India won its first Olympic boxing medal at the 2008 Beijing Games through Vijender Singh, who took bronze. Female boxer Mary Kom won bronze in London.


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