BFI responds to 'harassment' allegations by Lovlina Borgohain; Sports Ministry intervenes in matter

Boxer Lovlina Borgohain accused BFI of mental harassment, alleging that one of her coaches has been refused entry to the Commonwealth Games village in Birmingham while the other one has been sent back to India.

BFI responds to 'harassment' allegations by Lovlina Borgohain; Sports Ministry intervenes in matter

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) responded to allegations of harassment made by boxer Lovlina Borgohain on Monday (July 25). BFI said that the federation tried its best to get an accreditation for Tokyo bronze medallist Borgohain’s coach Sandhya Gurung.

This comes after Lovlina accused authorities of mental harassment, alleging that one of her coaches has been refused entry to the Commonwealth Games village in Birmingham while the other one has been sent back to India.

"Only 33% of the playing contingent is allowed as Support Staff which in BFI’s case for the 12 boxers (8 men and 4 women) stands to be 4 support staff, (including coaches) who were to travel with the Team to Burmingham," BFI said in a press release.

"The requirements of boxing with respect to coaches and support staff is a little different as there are multiple bouts, which could be one after another. The IOA understood BFI’s point of view and therefore, extended help with maximum possible additional support staff. With IOA’s help the number of support staff went up from 4 to 8 for the entire contingent of 12 boxers. 

"Boxing Federation of India ensured that Sandhya Gurung was at the training camp in Ireland. BFI is closely working with IOA so that Sandhya Gurung could be a part of the team in Birmingham. In the meanwhile, delegate transport and accommodation at ETO’s hotel has been already provided to her (Lovlina Borgohain)," the boxing federation added.

Sports Ministry intervenes in the matter

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has urged the Indian Olympic Association that accreditation be given to Lovlina Borgohain's personal coach, Sandhya Gurung, so that the boxer can train as per her requirement, ANI sources said.

Last week, the name of Sandhya Gurung was included in the final CWG contingent list on the basis of a special recommendation made by the Sports Authority of India to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in view of the requirement.

It may be noted that in the National Camps held in the SAI's Indira Gandhi Stadium in March, the names of Gurung and Lovlina's strength and conditioning coaches were not included by the Boxing Federation of India, which is responsible for recommending the names of athletes, coaches and support staff for National Camps in boxing.

However, acting on a personal request made by Lovlina to SAI in the last week of March, SAI intervened and spoke to the federation to include Gurung and her Strength and Conditioning expert in the camp. Both of them consequently joined the camp on April 4, 2022.

Lovlina's BIG accusations against BFI

Lovlina on Monday took to social media to share details of the alleged injustice, saying it has heavily impacted her training for the Commonwealth Games 2022.

In a tweet, she shared a note saying, "Today with great sorrow I want to confess that I am facing a lot of harassment. The coaches who helped me secure a medal in the Olympics are being removed, again and again, affecting my training and competition preparation. One of the coaches is Sandhya Gurungji and she is a Dronacharya awardee. Both of my coaches have to plead to be included in the training camp and they are added quite late."

"This has caused me a lot of problems in my training and this causes mental harassment as well. Right now, my coach Sandhya Gurungji is not getting entry into the Commonwealth Village and she is outside. Due to this, my training has stopped eight days ahead of the competition. My second coach has also been sent back to India."

Lovlina said that this is happening to her despite a lot of requests she has made to stop this and it has caused her a lot of mental harassment.

"I do not know how to focus on the Games in this situation. Due to this, my last world championships were also ruined. But I do not want to ruin my CWG campaign because of this politics. I hope that I can break this politics and win a medal for my country," she concluded.

Notably, Lovlina will be representing India in the 70kg category at the Commonwealth Games 2022, which will start from July 28 onwards.

Last year at Tokyo Olympics 2020, Lovlina had won a bronze medal in the women's welterweight category (64-69 kg).

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