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What does Parveen Hooda's suspension mean for India's boxing contingent for Paris 2024?

Published at :May 20, 2024 at 7:05 AM
Modified at :May 20, 2024 at 7:05 AM
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(Courtesy : BFI)

Abhiruchi Rout

Parveen Hooda was suspended by WADA for three whereabouts failures.

Indian boxing faced a major setback when boxer Parveen Hooda was suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for three whereabouts failures. Hooda did not act in accordance with the International Olympic Committee’s foundation that monitors the fight against doping as she failed to file her location requirements between April 2022 and March 2023.

As a result, she received a 22-month suspension for whereabouts failures, as proposed by the International Testing Agency (ITA). Following talks with different agencies, the ban was backdated by eight months, resulting in a 14-month suspension starting from May 17, 2024. With the Paris Olympics 2024 scheduled between July 26 to August 11, this implies that she would eventually miss the quadrennial Games.

The former World Championships (2022) bronze medalist Parveen Hooda achieved the quota for India at the Asian Games 2022 held in 2023 in the women’s featherweight (57kg) category. Although she lost in the semi-final against the eventual gold medalist Lin Yu-ting of the Chinese Taipei, she had ensured India a quota place in the same weight class by reaching the semifinals of the Continental Games.

However, Parveen Hooda’s suspension means that India has lost the quota place which they earned in the 57kg category at the Asian Games. 

What’s next for Indian boxing after Parveen Hooda’s suspension

The nation will now field a boxer in the given weight class to obtain the quota at the second World Qualification Tournament for the Paris Olympics, scheduled between May 23 and June 3 in Bangkok, Thailand, after the Boxing Paris Unit gave India a second opportunity to win quota in the same weight class.

Each nation has to follow the eligibility criteria set for the Olympic qualifiers where only the boxers who have been named in the reserves for the tournament before April 11 can compete in the main tournament. 

With the goal to keep the quota, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has decided to field Jaismine Lamboria in the 57kg, who will be now vying for the quota place where she will face a stiff challenge from various top boxers of the world.

Since the second Olympic Qualifiers are set to take center stage in just a few days, Jaismine Lamboria will have to make every opportunity count to help India gain back its quota in the specified weight class.

The 22-year-old’s biggest achievement in her boxing career so far is winning the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in the lightweight category. To bring the quota back, she would have to perform at a similar level.

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Indian contingent reduced to three after Parveen Hooda’s suspension

With Parveen Hooda losing her Olympic quota, the Indian boxers who have qualified for the Paris Olympics 2024 have now been reduced to three. Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti Pawar (54kg), and Lovlina Borgohain are the three boxers who won quotas for India during the Asian Games 2022 by reaching their respective semifinals.

Eventually, the Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Borgohain had to settle for the silver medal after being defeated by China’s Li Qian in the 75kg. On the other hand, the two-time world champion Zareen and Pawar clinched the bronze after losing their respective semifinals.

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