Days ahead of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games’ opening, Tokyo Olympics bronze winning boxer Lovlina Borgohain on Monday said she was facing “mental harassment” over removal of her coaches from the CWG contingent.
Lovlina, who will be competing in the 70kg category, took to Twitter to vent her frustration, complaining that her training had been hampered since one of her personal coaches (strength and conditioning expert Amey Kolekar) was sent back to India while her other coach, Sandhya Gurung, hadn’t been able to enter the athletes village in Birmingham. Although she hasn’t taken names, it is understood that her complaints are against the Boxing Federation of India.
“It’s with great regret that I have to say that I am constantly experiencing a lot of harassment due to the removal of my coaches,” said Lovlina in a long tweet.
“The constant removal of my coaches, who have helped me win the Olympic medal for my country, is affecting my training process for the competition. One of them is Dronacharya awardee Sandhya Gurung ji.”
Tokyo Olympics bronze winning boxer Lovlina Borgohain has alleged that her preparations for the Commonwealth Games were being affected because her coaches were not made available to her.
“The constant removal of my coaches, who have helped me win the Olympic medal for my country, is affecting my training process for the competition. One of them is Dronacharya awardee Sandhya Gurung ji,” Lovlina tweeted on Monday.
Gurung is currently in Birmingham in her personal capacity but doesn’t have accreditation to enter the games village.
Lovlina’s request for Gurung’s accreditation for the CWG has been rejected by India’s chef-de-mission, Rajesh Bhandari. In his letter – a copy of which is with TOI – addressed to Indian Olympic Association secretary general Rajeev Mehta, Bhandari said that “as per the protocols and procedures laid down, no new accreditation can be issued after the finalisation in the Delegation Registration Meeting (DRM)”. The DRM took place on July 20.
The IOA in a statement issued late Monday night has confirmed that ‘a special request has been made to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee on a priority basis to provide Ms Gurung with the requisite accreditation’.
Still, Union sports minister Anurag Singh Thakur has requested the IOA that accreditation be given to Gurung so that Lovlina can train as per her requirements. It’s learnt that Thakur has been monitoring the development and diplomatic channels between India and UK could also be explored to put pressure on the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). “Last week, the name of Gurung was included in the final CWG contingent list on the basis of a special recommendation made by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to the ministry,” a statement from the ministry said.
Gurung has been training Lovlina for a long time and the boxer has often credited her for her rise. “At the moment (on Monday), Sandhya Gurung ji is outside the CWG Village and she is not getting entry and my training process has stopped eight days before the event. Even my second coach has been sent back to India,” Lovlina further said in her tweet.
“This has happened despite my numerous requests and this has caused a lot of mental harassment. I don’t understand how I would focus on my game because of this.” BFI, however, said in a statement that only 33% of the playing contingent was allowed as support staff.
“BFI ensured that Gurung was at the training camp (July 10-24) in Ireland. Only 33% of the playing contingent is allowed as support staff which, in BFI’s case for the 12 boxers (eight men and four women), stands to be four support staff (including coaches) who were to travel with the team to Birmingham,” read the statement.
Lovlina also alleged that during the camp also she has had to plead for the coaches to be with her. “Because of this, I have had to face a lot of trouble during my training sessions. Because of this politics, I don’t want my performance to get affected during the CWG. I hope to break up this politics and win a medal for my country. Jai Hind,” she concluded.
Source By – The Times of India