India likely to lose Olympic boxing quota as WADA suspends Parveen for three whereabout failures

PTI, May 17, 2024, 5:00 PM IST

Parveen Hooda (Credit: ANI)

New Delhi: World championship bronze medallist boxer Parveen Hooda is likely to lose her Paris Olympic quota after being suspended by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for three whereabout failures in 12 months.

Parveen, who fetched an Olympic quota in the women’s 57kg weight class during the Asian Games last year, failed to file her whereabouts in the period from April 2022 to March 2023 as per the WADA rules.

“She has been suspended by WADA for 1.5 years. The suspension starts this month. It will go on till November 2025,” Parveen’s coach Sudhir Hooda told PTI.

Athletes included in the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) must provide full address for their overnight location, the name and full address of each location where they train, work or conduct other regular scheduled activities, as well as the usual time-frames of each activity.

RTP athletes must also identify a 60-minute window and location for each day of the quarter, during which they must be available for testing. Failure to comply with whereabouts and testing obligations will result in a whereabouts failure.

According to WADA rules, “any combination of three whereabouts failures (filing failure and/or missed test) within a period of 12 months constitute an anti-doping rule violation, for which the applicable sanction is 2 years’ ineligibility subject to a reduction to a minimum of 1 year depending on your degree of fault.”

Lawyer Vidushpat Singhania, who is handling Parveen’s case, said they are in correspondence with the International Testing Agency (ITA) and are pushing to get the sanction removed or shortened.

“We have been in correspondence with multiple parties including the ITA and WADA ombudsman. We are trying our best for a no sanction or reduced one,” Singhania said.

“We are trying for them to withdraw the notice for whereabouts failure, if that happens there will be no sanction. We are looking to finalise it immediately because of the Olympic quota place,” he added.

However, even if the sanction is reduced to a year, Parveen will not be able to compete at the Paris Games in July-August this year.

In October last year, it had come to light that Parveen had committed multiple whereabout failures in one-year period and had received a notice form ITA, which is overseeing the anti-doping programme for boxing at the Olympics.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) was confident of a favourable result.

Currently, only four Indian boxers — Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti (54kg), Parveen (57kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) — have won quota places.

In boxing, a quota is awarded to the athlete not the country.

The final Olympic qualifier is scheduled to begin on May 24 in Bangkok.

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