A female Indian boxer is at risk of being stripped of her Asian Games medal and Paris Olympics quota after she was handed a notice for multiple whereabouts failures by the International Testing Agency (ITA). The pugilist failed to file her whereabouts in the period before the continental multi-sport event. If found guilty, she could face a maximum two-year ban which can be reduced to a minimum of one year depending on the degree of her fault besides losing her Asian Games medal and Paris Olympic quota. (Asian Games 2023 | Sports News)
The ITA was roped in by the Olympic Council of Asia to help in administering the anti-doping programme at the Hangzhou Asian Games, including the Results Management process.
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is, however, optimistic of a favourable resolution of the matter.
"The notice was for the period before the Asian Games and the federation got to know about it only after the Games. The boxer was in a disturbed state of mind during that time as one of her parents had been diagnosed with a serious medical condition," a BFI official privy to the development told PTI.
"The BFI legal team has been intimated, it is looking into the matter. There should not be an issue (like taking away the medal or Olympic quota) as we will explain the reason for the failure," the official added.
Athletes who part of the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) are required to submit quarterly whereabouts updates.
According to WADA rules, "any combination of three whereabouts failures (filing failure and/or missed test) within a period of 12 months constitute an anti-doping rule violation, for which the applicable sanction is 2 years' ineligibility subject to a reduction to a minimum of 1 year depending on your degree of fault."
The Indian boxing contingent returned with four Olympic quotas -- all in the women's categories -- and five medals, including a silver won by world champion Lovlina Borgohain from the Asian Games.
India recorded its best-ever performance at the Asian Games, which concluded earlier this month with athletes from the country bagging a haul of 107 medals, including 28 gold.