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India's Olympic boxing hopes dented as WADA suspends Parveen Hooda for doping rule violation

Published at :May 18, 2024 at 11:01 AM
Modified at :May 18, 2024 at 11:01 AM
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(Courtesy : @ddsportschannel/X)

Ajay Gandhar

Hooda allegedly failed to disclose her whereabouts.

The Indian boxing team’s Olympic hopes have been put in jeopardy after one of their top boxers, Parveen Hooda, was suspended for 18 months by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for an anti-doping rule violation.

“Parveen has been provisionally suspended by World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) for a period of 18 months. The news has left us completely shattered,” Hooda’s coach Sudhir Hooda confirmed news to Hindustan Times.

Hooda, a 24-year-old from Haryana, allegedly failed to disclose her whereabouts details as required by WADA’s rules over a 12-month period from April 2022 to March 2023. Under the whereabouts rule, athletes must provide information like their home address, training locations, competition schedules, and details about personal activities to facilitate surprise doping tests by officials.

“Three whereabouts failures within 12 months ‘constitute an anti-doping rule violation, for which the applicable sanction is [two] years’ ineligibility subject to a reduction to a minimum of [one] year,'” stated the WADA rule cited in reports.

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The suspension puts Hooda’s Olympic quota place for the 57kg women’s event, which she earned by winning bronze at last year’s Asian Games in Hangzhou, in potential jeopardy with Paris Olympics 2024 less than two months away on July 26th.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is currently engaged in negotiations with WADA in an effort to prevent the potential loss of the Olympic quota spot. The federation finds itself in a wait-and-watch situation as the matter unfolds.

Regarding the developing situation, BFI Secretary Hemanta Kalita stated in a story published in India Today, “As of now, there is no official communication to us from WADA or other bodies. We are attempting to resolve the issue through dialogue. However, no final decision has been made yet, so we cannot provide any further comments at this time.”

Hooda, a world championships bronze medalist, has not competed since her Asian Games medal last October. With her status uncertain, the BFI has asked 60kg boxer Jaismine Lamboria to prepare for the World Olympic Qualifiers in Bangkok from May 24 to June 2.

Besides Hooda, Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti (54kg), and Tokyo bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) have also secured Olympic berths for the Indian boxing contingent in Paris.

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