Shaken by ban, Mary says this will upset focus

NEW DELHI: Close on the heels of the Indian Olympic Association's suspension by the International Olympic Committee, India's sporting reputation took another beating with the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation being handed a ban by the International Boxing Association.

Reacting to the suspension, Olympian boxer and London 2012 bronze medallist M C Mary Kom told Yahoo! India that she was confused and shaken by the news.

"I am really confused and upset. Not just me but other boxers, especially youngsters, are equally upset. What are we going to do now? This [ban] upsets their focus, especially when they are training for international competitions like the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, which are just one or two years away."

The IABF amended its constitution in September to create the chairman's post to accommodate Chautala at the end of his tenure as the boxing federation president.

The AIBA feels that newly elected IOA president Abhay Chautala have manipulated the elections of the IABF. Chautala has been three-time president of the IABF.

"Further to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC's) suspension imposed on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee Bureau has decided today 6 December 2012 to provisionally suspend the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF)," the AIBA said in a statement.

"This provisional suspension is also due to the fact that AIBA had learned 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 statement added.

Commenting on the IOC decision to suspend the Indian Olympic Association, she added, "Not just me but all Indian athletes are upset with the IOC decision."
"There is too much politics," she said in an apparent reference to the controversy surrounding the reasons for the ban.

However, Mary Kom expressed hope that the ban would be lifted. "We will be grateful if the higher authorities take this issue seriously and arrive at a solution that will be helpful for all of us," she said

The suspension comes just two days after the International Olympic Committee took similar action against the Indian Olympic Association.

The International Olympic Committee suspended the Indian Olympic Association on Tuesday for government interference as Abhay Singh Chautala, chairman of the boxing federation, was elected its new president.