With only three days until the Commonwealth Games begin, Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist boxer Lovlina Borgohain took to social media on Monday to share her ordeal, alleging that she had been subjected to ‘mental harassment’ as her coaches were frequently changed.
The star boxer said that her preparations for the major events have been constantly impacted because of her coaches, who helped her to a historic medal in Tokyo, being removed without explanations.
In a tweet, the 24-year-old boxer from Assam said that she has been facing problems in training after authorities denied entry to her coaches in the Commonwealth Games Village.
— Lovlina Borgohain (@LovlinaBorgohai) July 25, 2022
Lovlina said that one of her coaches has been sent home and another has been denied entry to the Commonwealth Games Village.
“Today with great sorrow I want to reveal that harassment is going on with me. The coaches who helped me win the Olympic medal were removed which hindered my training process. One of the coaches is Sandhya Gurungji, who is a Dronacharya awardee. Both of my coaches have to plead to be included in the training camp and they are added quite late,” Lovlina said in a tweet.
“Right now my coach Sandhya Gurungji is outside Commonwealth Village. With all this, my training process has stopped exactly 8 days before the games. My second coach has also been sent back to India. This happened even after I made many requests, due to which I have suffered a lot of mental harassment. I don’t know how to focus in the game. Due to this my last world championship was also spoiled. And because of this politics I do not want to spoil my CWG. I hope that I could break this politics and win a medal for my country. Jai Hind,” she wrote.
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) issued a statement on Monday stating that the federation is attempting to provide her with all possible support.
Reacting to the post of Lovlina Borgohain, the Sports Ministry tweeted, “We have urged the Indian Olympic Association to immediately arrange for the accreditation of the coach of Lovlina Borgohain.”
According to the BFI, the federation is working closely with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to ensure that Sandhya Gurung, coach of Lovlina Borgohain, will be a part of the team in Birmingham.
“Only 33 per cent of the playing contingent is allowed as ‘Support Staff’ which in BFI’s case for the 12 boxers (8 men and 4 women) stands to be 4 support staff, (including coaches) who were to travel with the Team to Birmingham,” BFI said.
“Boxing Federation of India ensured that Sandhya Gurung was at the training camp in Ireland. BFI is closely working with IOA so that Sandhya Gurung could be a part of the team in Birmingham. In the meanwhile, delegate transport and accommodation at ETO’s hotel has been already provided to her,” BFI said in a release.
“The requirements of boxing with respect to coaches and support staff is a little different as there are multiple bouts, which could be one after another. The IOA understood BFI’s point of view and therefore, extended help with maximum possible additional support staff. With IOA’s help the number of support staff went up from 4 to 8 for the entire contingent of 12 boxers,” the BFI said.
Responding to Lovlina’s tweet, the IOA said in a statement that it has taken cognizance of the concern raised by team India boxer Lovlina on social media regarding her coach Sandhya Gurung’s accreditation at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“The matter of Ms. Gurung’s accreditation was a late request received following the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee’s Delegation Registration Meeting with the national delegations. However, given the 1OA places the convenience of the Indian athletes at the highest level, 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,” the IOA said in a release.
(Inputs from IANS)