India to concede Olympic Quota after Parveen Hooda’s suspension, to compete again in the final qualifiers

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In an unprecedented embarrassment for Indian boxing, the country will fight afresh for qualification in the women’s 57kg category after being forced to surrender the quota owing to holder Parveen Hooda’s international suspension for three whereabout failures in 12 months.

What lies ahead after Parveen Hooda’s suspension?

Hooda was handed a 22-month suspension by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The 2022 world championship bronze medallist boxer, who fetched the Olympic quota with an Asian Games bronze last year, failed to file her whereabouts in the period from April 2022 to March 2023 as per WADA rules.

“Parveen Hooda has been suspended for 22 months by the International Testing Agency (ITA) for Whereabouts Failures,” the Boxing Federation of India said in a media release.

“While it’s regrettable that Parveen won’t be able to compete for India and will be serving the suspension, I am happy that we were able to at least reduce the suspension period and she will be back in the ring soon. I also extend my gratitude to all who contributed to securing India’s continued representation in this weight category for the Paris Olympics,” stated BFI president Ajay Singh.

This leaves only three Indian boxers — Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) — in the Olympic-bound group for now.

With the final Olympic qualifier scheduled to begin on May 24 in Bangkok, India will have another chance to qualify for the women’s 57kg weight category. But the country can only field reserves who were registered by April 11. This allows only two boxers, named as reserves in the 60kg and 66 kg category, eligible to compete in Bangkok next week.

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