Now, Indian boxer Mary Kom alleges bias

Bhopal:  After PT Usha's break down on mistreatment of athletes, Indian boxer and this year's Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna winner MC Mary Kom has too alleged that sportspersons don't get their due and has complained about the accommodation at the ongoing 10th Senior Women National Boxing Championship in Bhopal.

The Manipuri boxer lost here in the quarter-finals and abused the judges, accusing them of a bias towards her Haryana opponent. She has been temporarily suspended by  the Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) for 'unsporting behaviour'.

She was booked for misbehaviour and using foul language against the judges.

The All India Police Board (AIPB) boxer said she had been victimised by the judges who supported her opponent.

Announcing the decision, Anil Boidar, joint secretary of the IBF said the suspension was temporary. A nine-member jury took the decision and any further action deemed necessary would be taken at the general body meeting of the IBF to be held in Hyderabad on October 27.

Boidar, who is also the IBF observer for the national meet here, termed Mary Kom's allegation baseless that a section of the IBF was working against women pugilists from the Northeast. "It's all baseless. The IBF has representation from all the states and boards," he said.

The drama began when Mary Kom, a recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, lost her temper after being knocked out by Haryana's Pinki Jangra in the 46kg bout at the JRD Tata Sports Complex. The bout ended 9-9. The five-member panel of judges later declared the individual scores tied 15-15, but Pinki won 4-1 on countback.

In a situation when the scores are tied the judges have to go through three aspects for deciding the winner. That includes better style, technique and defence.

The 27-year-old Mary Kom was livid after hearing the verdict. She not only argued with referee Narottam Rawat but also allegedly hurled abuses at the judges who were sitting in front of the ring. She left the venue in a huff only to return to brief the journalists.

"Sportspersons from Northeast are always victimised. Hamari shakal alag ho par dil Indian hain," Mary Kom said.

Sarita Devi, her teammate and an India international who lost her 54-kg bout to Sunita Yadav of Railways Sunday, echoed Mary Kom's sentiments.

Claiming that she has never lost a bout since her debut in 2001, Marykom alleged that judges and a section among the IBF officials, including co-ordinator Rakesh Thakran, were instrumental for her defeat.

"My defeat was planned. It was a conspiracy by Thakaran and country's chief boxing coach Anoop Kumar. The Haryana lobby in the IBF is responsible for the whole mess (involving boxers from the Northeast). Indian boxing will head nowhere if such activities are allowed to continue," she added.

Mary Kom and Sarita also alleged they didn't find themselves 'safe' at national boxing camps in Hissar. "There have been attempts to molest us. It was due to pressure exerted by us that the IBF had to shift the camp to Bhopal. But now things seem back to square one," the Manipur pugilists said in unison.

Mary Kom said she would be lodging a formal complaint with Col. P.L. Muralidharan Raja when he arrives in the steel city Tuesday. "I may also decide on quitting the game if the IBF persists with victimising women boxers," she added.

Thakaran rubbished the charges levelled against him. "There are representatives from Manipur and Meghalaya on IBF panels. Allegations of regional bias are baseless," he said.

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