Amid backlash following shocking claims by ace pugilist Lovlina Borgohain, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has increased the quota for support staff of boxers from 4 to 8.
In an official statement, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) clarified that according to the rules, only 33% of the playing contingent are allowed as support staff.
"In BFI's case the limit was just four support staff to 12 boxers. 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 Birmingham,” it said.
Because of their efforts, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had increased their quota of support staff from 4 to 8,” the BFI further said.
"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," the statement added.
The federation further said that the BFI was working in tandem with the IOA to ensure that Lovlina's coach Sandhya could join her in the Commonwealth Games village.
"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," it read.
Meanwhile, BFI secretary Hemanta Kalita said, "We had given all names beforehand but there is a quota system. Based on the number of athletes who have qualified there is 25 per cent quota. So we had four officials, which includes coach, doctor etc."
"We had requested the IOA and they have increased the quota to eight. Four will stay inside the village and four have to stay outside, they can enter the village, and spend the day but at night they have to go back out," Kalita added.
Earlier yesterday, Tokyo Olympics medalist and ace boxer from Assam Lovlina Borgohain lleged mental harassment due the dirty “politics” affecting her preparations ahead of Commonwealth Games 2022 scheduled to begin from July 28 in Birmingham.
Borgohain in a Twitter post alleged that the coaches that trained her to bronze medal victory in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 were being replaced causing disruptions in her training regime.
She said that her training process has been completely halted just eight days ahead of the tournament due to the politics behind the scenes.
In a long post in Hindi, Borgohain wrote, “With a heavy heart am admitting of harassment. Every time, the coaches who trained me and helped me to win a medal at the Olympics, are replaced affecting my training process and performance in the competitions.”
She said, “One of my coaches, Sandhya Gurung is a Dronacharya awardee. At times, my coaches have to put in several requests to be included for my training even in the camps. This is seriously hampering my training and my mental health.”
The ace boxer further said, “At the moment, my coach Sandhya Gurungji is waiting outside the commonwealth village. She has been denied entry and my training process has been ceased just eight days before the games.”
Soon after her claims, the department of sports under the Union ministry of youth affairs and sports asked the IOA to arrange for the accreditation of Borgohain’s coach.