Now, Indian Boxing Federation suspended by AIBA

Published: 07 December, 2012 18:43 IST | Agencies |

In a massive jolt to boxing in India, the International Boxing Association and the Sports Ministry have suspended the IABF alleging "possible manipulation" in its recent elections but the body has denied the charge, insisting that the process was "transparent".

India's government suspended the national boxing federation Friday, dealing it a fresh blow after it was frozen out by the sport's world governing body for "possible manipulation" in internal polls.

Only days after the Indian Olympic Association was suspended by the IOC over its election of a tainted official, the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) found itself on the receiving end of similar punishment.

"This provisional suspension is... due to the fact that the AIBA had learned about possible manipulation of the recent IABF," the International Boxing Association (AIBA) said in a statement.

Vijender Singh

Boxing Olympic medal winner Vijender Singh

The AIBA "will now investigate this election", added the statement, which also singled out its concern over the election of Abhey Singh Chautala as IABF chairman after vacating the post of president.

His brother-in-law Abhishek Matoria was elected president in his place.

Chautala was on Tuesday also elected unopposed as the president of the Indian Olympic Association even though the International Olympic Committee had made it clear that the vote would not be recognised.

Matoria said he was surprised the IABF had been suspended since the world body had been told of the election process in his federation.

"The AIBA had specific queries about the election process and we had explained to them that there was no manipulation," Matoria was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.

But the federal sports ministry backed the world body and suspended the Indian boxing federation on Friday, saying the election process in September was flawed and ordered it to hold fresh elections within 15 days.

"The government has to suspend the recognition of the IABF pending fresh elections," the ministry said in a statement.

"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, failing which the de-recognition will be made absolute."

The suspension will bar Indian boxers from international competitions, with the junior world championships in Ukraine next August being the first major event.

Vijender Singh, who won a bronze medal in boxing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said he was hopeful the matter would be resolved soon.

"It is a sad day for Indian boxing," he said. "Luckily for us, the next world meet is not any time soon and hopefully things will be settled by then."

Many Indian sports federations are run by politicians as personal fiefdoms.

Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Vijay Kumar Malhotra, 81, is now in his 40th year as president of the archery association, which was also de-recognised by the sports ministry on Friday.

Sharad Pawar, a federal minister, served as president of the Indian cricket board and later headed the sport's world governing body before his term ended in June this year.

Lalit Bhanot, elected IOA secretary-general on Wednesday, and former IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi have been charged with corruption while organising the Commonwealth Games.

The event was hit by venue delays, shoddy construction and budget overruns that saw the cost of the event triple to $6 billion.

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