Boxer Parveen Hooda's Olympic dreams over after suspension

BFI confirms development, says they'll be sending fresh challenger in final Olympic qualifiers to regain quota
Boxer Parveen Hooda
Boxer Parveen HoodaPhoto | Express

CHENNAI: Parveen Hooda, who had secured a boxing quota in the 57-kg category during the Asian Games, has been handed a 22-month suspension by the International Testing Agency (ITA) for whereabouts failure, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) confirmed on Friday.

In the wake of this development, the BFI also confirmed that they will be sending a fresh challenger from the country to regain the quota during the upcoming Olympic qualifiers in Bangkok. There will be at least three quotas on offer in the category. The BFI said that the reserves (60kg and 66kg) are eligible to compete in the 57-kg category (goes without saying that cutting weight is necessary). However, it is unclear at the moment as they had not officially announced the reserves at the time of announcement of the squad on April 13. As per eligibility rule, the reserves should have been registered by April 11. Jaismine Lamboria, who had competed in the 60kg category during the recent Olympic qualifiers in Italy, could go but her parents had denied the same when asked about it a few days back.

"While it's regrettable that Parveen won't be able to compete for India and will be serving the suspension, I am happy that we were able to at least reduce the suspension period and she will be back in the ring soon," BFI chief Ajay Singh was quoted as saying in a release.

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As indicated by The New Indian Express on Thursday, Parveen, 23, had failed to file her whereabouts from April, 2022 to March, 2024 as per World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules. As per the WADA rule, 'those who are part of a Registered Testing Pool (RTP) are required to provide whereabouts information'. BFI, along with her legal representatives, had been working on the case for some time. The BFI confirmed that the ITA has imposed a 22-month suspension, which has now been backdated by eight months. That means she'll be out of action for little over a year from now. The initial suspension, according to the federation, was 24 months (backdated by six months).

This was the main reason behind Parveen's inactivity in a competitive setup. As reported by this daily a few days ago, Parveen has not had a competitive fight for over 200 days. The last time she had a competitive fight was during the Asian Games. Paris-bound Nikhat Zareen, Preeti and Lovlina have all had some form of competitive matches, something that is a necessity, in the last few months or so.

The BFI felt this transpired due to Parveen's lack of technical know-how in regards to operating the Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS). "Ms Hooda’s failure to comply in the present instance arose solely on account of her lack of knowledge and technical understanding of the ADAMS platform," said Viduspat Singhania, the boxer's legal counsel. Singhania was quoted as saying in the same release.

This is a mighty blow for India as Parveen is considered one of the bright talents in Indian boxing.

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