The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) is again in the news for the wrong reasons.
The IABF has attracted attention for sending a doctor, Dr. Nimolok Singh, along with the boxing team for the Asian youth championship in Subic Bay, the Philippines. After imposing a ban on the Indian boxers following IABF’s suspension, the AIBA had recently allowed the participation of the Indian pugilists in international events on the condition that only the boxers and coaches would be allowed in any competition.
According to an IABF functionary, Dr. Singh was not allowed to stay with the boxers and was denied entry into the field of play. Besides, the boxers were not allowed to wear India jerseys.
IABF secretary general Rajesh Bhandari defended the decision to send a doctor along with the team, and dismissed claims that Dr. Singh had been denied entry into the competition.
“A doctor’s presence is important. His trip has been cleared by the Sports Authority of India (SAI). I spoke to him and he has got his accreditation. He has reached the practice arena. However, he cannot go near the ring, which is a normal practice,” said Bhandari.
IABF Executive Director A.S. Dagar said: “Dr. Singh was not part of the team. He had gone to support the boxers.”
On the Indian boxers not being allowed to wear National jerseys, Dagar said: “Last time, they were allowed to wear the Indian jerseys. If they have not been allowed, the boxers have been given money and they can buy it from there.”
Ram Singh suspended
Meanwhile, the IABF has suspended boxer Ram Singh, who admitted to having taken heroin on a few occasions.
Ram Singh has alleged that his room-mate at NIS Patiala camp, Vijender Singh, had also taken the same drug, which the 2008 Olympic bronze medal winner has denied vehemently.
After Ram Singh’s removal from NIS Patiala, the IABF temporarily suspended the heavy weight boxer.
“We have suspended Ram Singh on the basis of his admission,” said Bhandari on Monday. “As of now, there will be no action on Vijender. We are waiting for the police probe to end.”
The interesting question is whether the IABF, which stands suspended by both the International Boxing Association and the Union Sports Ministry, can take any disciplinary action against a boxer.
In his response, Bhandari said: “The IABF is an autonomous body. It can take its own decisions. We are organising camps and sending teams.”
However, a boxing federation official, well versed with the running of the body, said the IABF, in its present status, has no rights to take any action against anybody.
IOC member in India Randhir Singh said: “They (IABF) cannot hold any activity. But I do not know about their constitution.”