NEW DELHI: A livid Sports Authority of India on Friday rejected reports that minor boxers were subjected to pregnancy tests in a camp for the World Championships this month, saying that the squad does not have a single under-18 in its ranks.
“The minimum eligibility age for participation in the World Championship is 19. So where does the question of testing the minors arise,” SAI director general Jiji Thomson said, adding the youngest member of the squad was born in 1994.
Media reports had alleged that Boxing India forced the boxers participating in the World Championship, scheduled in Jeju Islands, South Korea from November 13, to undergo a pregnancy test and also went on to claim that some of those tested were minors.
The World Boxing body (AIBA) has made it mandatory for all boxers participating in the World Championship to submit a non-pregnant certificate from a qualified medical professional before the weigh-in for the event.
“Boxing India had conducted the test on the players selected for the world championship through SAI doctors after a formal request from the players and their coaches as the very purpose of conducting such a test is to ensure that there is no untoward incident of pre-natal death,” Thomson stated.
“We were only following the guidelines of AIBA on the request of Boxing India and the players. Reports of minors being tested are incorrect and have no factual basis to them.
“We strongly condemn these efforts to create an unnecessary controversy when the Indian boxing contingent is gearing up for the world championship and is determined to win medals for the country,” he added.