Updated: November 5, 2014 8:32:19 pm
Eight women boxers, including unmarried and juniors, who are set to compete at the World Championships in Korea next week, have been subjected to pregnancy tests by Boxing India (BI), according to SAI consultant Dr. PSM Chandran.
Dr. Chandran, who is President of Indian Federation of Sports Medicine, said the tests were conducted by Sports Authority of India (SAI) at the behest of BI.
“These boxers have been compelled to undergo pregnancy tests. They ordered and the SAI followed suit. Pregnancy tests were carried out on eight young unmarried girls, some even juniors, a classic case of human rights violation,” Chandran claimed in a press release.
“The shocking thing is that it was done against rules. In the AIBA Technical Rules 126.96.36.199 which came into effect on 31 Aug 2014, there is no provision to subject boxers to pregnancy tests. The rule states ‘Women Boxers must additionally submit a non-pregnancy declaration along with the Medical Certificate. For Women Boxers under the age of 18, this non-pregnancy declaration must be signed by at least one of their parents or legal guidance’,” Chandran explained.
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“The hapless girls in their eagerness to don India colours had no choice but to concede to such barbaric demands by the officialdom against their own dignity and honour.”
However, BI Secretary Jay Kowli said he was not aware of the matter.
Chandran demanded that it was time for the National Human Rights Commission as well as the National Women Commission “to intervene in sports in order to ensure that the rights and dignity of girls who come forward to participate in sports are safe-guarded”.
SAI Executive Director (Teams) Sudhir Setia said that there was no violation of rules and the tests were mandatory under world body AIBA guidelines.
“This is a matter handled by the federation doctor. But this is not the first time our women boxers had gone outside the country after undergoing these tests. Each of the women boxers are required to give a certificate (that they were not pregnant) for their safety as well as that of the would-be baby,” Setia told PTI.
“This is no doubt a sensitive issue in India but it is mandatory under AIBA rules. We have not violated any rules,” he added.
However, one senior official who has been associated with boxing for long, said that there must be some goof up or misinterpretation of rules on the part of SAI officials as a pregnancy test was not mandatory under AIBA rules. He said the women boxers need to furnish a declaration that they are not pregnant.
“It must be a goof up or a misinterpretation on the part of SAI officials. They must be under the impression that women boxers need to give a certificate after undergoing a pregnancy test. This is not there under AIBA rules. All the women boxers need to do is to furnish a declaration by themselves that they are not pregnant,” the official said.
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