No Lov lost: Boxer Lovlina alleges harassment ahead of CWG

The Indian boxing squad reached the Games Village here on Sunday night after a training stint in Ireland, but Lovlina’s personal coach Sandhya Gurung could not enter the Village since she does not have accreditation.
Olympic bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain
Olympic bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain

BIRMINGHAM: Olympic bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain on Monday alleged that her preparations for the Commonwealth Games are being hampered because of the “continuous harassment” her coaches are facing from the authorities.

The Indian boxing squad reached the Games Village here on Sunday night after a training stint in Ireland, but Lovlina’s personal coach Sandhya Gurung could not enter the Village since she does not have accreditation.

Lovlina, perhaps, wanted her other personal coach Amey Kolekar with her during the CWG, but he did not feature in the long list. The decorated pugilist expressed her anger in a long Twitter post.

“Today (Monday) with a lot of grief, I want to tell everyone about the continuous harassment going on with me. The coaches who helped me win an Olympic medal are always being side-lined which has severely impacted my training schedule,” Lovlina wrote in her Twitter post.

“One of the coaches is Sandhya Gurungji, who is a Dronacharya awardee. I had to plead with folded hands to get my coaches included in the contingent. I am feeling mentally harassed because of this ordeal,” she posted.

“Right now, my coach Sandhya Gurung is standing outside the CWG village and not being allowed to enter. Just eight days before the start of my event, my training schedule has been hampered. My other coach has been sent back to India,” she said.

Reacting to the boxer’s allegations, the Sports Ministry said that it has directed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to resolve the issue at the earliest.

“We have urged the Indian Olympic Association to immediately arrange for the accreditation of the coach of Lovlina Borgohain,” the ministry tweeted.

Lovlina alleged that she endured similar treatment before the World Championships in Istanbul and she fears that something similar will happen at the upcoming Birmingham Games.

“I don’t understand how I will focus on the Games (CWG) amidst all this. My world championships also suffered because of this. I don’t want my CWG to be affected due to politics. Hoping I will overcome this politics and win a medal for my country. Jai Hind,” she wrote.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) said that the accreditation process is being managed by the IOA and hoped that the issue would be resolved soon.

The other coach Lovlina is talking about is her strength and conditioning coach Kolekar, who is also her personal support staff. The Indian team already has a strength and conditioning coach, who is supposed to help the pugilists during the Games.

Meanwhile, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said that proper resolution would be reached. “The SAI has taken up the matter with BFI. The Sports Ministry is in talks with IOA to solve the matter and ensure best possible preparation for Lovlina, who is a strong medal contender,” a SAI official said.

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