NEW DELHI: India has been thrown out of world boxing for alleged “manipulation” during the elections of its national federation, the sport's world governing body said in a statement.
The decision by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) was announced on its website Thursday, two days after India was suspended from the International Olympic Committee for moving to elect a tainted official.
“Further to the IOC's suspension imposed on the Indian Olympic Association, the AIBA executive committee bureau has decided to provisionally suspend the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF),” the statement read.
“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 the IOA president, as former chairman of the IABF, and the IABF election.”
When the IABF elections were held in September, its outgoing president Abhey Singh Chautala installed himself in a newly-created post of chairman, while his brother-in-law Abhishek Matoria was elected president.
Chautala was on Tuesday elected unopposed as the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) despite the IOC making it clear that the elections will not be recognised.
Lalit Bhanot was elected as the IOA's secretary-general, also unopposed, even though he is currently on bail after serving 11 months in jail over corruption charges during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
Matoria said he was surprised the IABF had been suspended since the world body had been told of the election process.
“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.
“Those who got elected were unanimous choices and just because there was unanimity, the AIBA cannot allege manipulation.”
Matoria said he was confident the provisional suspension will be lifted before the junior world championships next August.
“We will once again explain our stand to the AIBA,” he said. “If need be, I will personally go and speak to AIBA officials in Lausanne.”
India had won one boxing bronze medal at each of the last two Olympics through Vijender Singh in 2008 and woman boxer Mary Kom earlier this year. – AFP