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‘Harassed’ Lovlina speaks out for coaches

'Just eight days before the start of my event, my training schedule has been hampered. My other coach has been sent back to India'
Lovlina Borgohain
Lovlina Borgohain
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Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 26.07.22, 03:24 AM

Calcutta: Olympic bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohainon Monday alleged that her preparations for the Commonwealth Games are being hampered because of the “continuous harassment” her coaches are facing from the authorities.

The Indian boxing squad reached the Games Village in Birmingham on Sunday night after a training stint in Ireland but Lovlina’s personal coach Sandhya Gurung could not enter the Village since she does not have accreditation.

Lovlina, perhaps, wanted her personal coach Amey Kolekar with her during the CWG but he did not feature in the long list. The decorated pugilist vented her ire on social media.

“Today with a lot of grief, I want to tell everyone about the continuous harassment going on with me. The coaches who helped me win Olympic medal are always being side-lined which has severely impacted my training schedule,” Lovlina tweeted.

“One of the coaches is Sandhya Gurungji... I had to plead with folded hands to get my coaches included in the contingent. I am feeling men-tally harassed because of this ordeal,” she posted.

“Right now, my coach Sandhya Gurung is standing outside the CWG Village and not being allowed to enter.

"Just eight days before the start of my event, my training schedule has been hampered. My other coach has been sent back to India,” she said.

Lovlina alleged that she endured similar treatment before the World Championship in Istanbul. “I don’t understand how will I focus on the Games (CWG) amidst all this? My world championships also suffered because of this.”The controversy took a political hue after Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Gaurav Gogoi demanded immediate government intervention.

“Lovlina Borgohain is an asset to our nation, she should be encouraged and supported in every way,” Priyanka tweeted.

Gurung, who is credited with pulling Lovlina out of a difficult mental place before the Tokyo Olympics, had travelled with the boxing contingent to Ireland where the pugilists underwent a 15-day camp.

The sports ministry said it has directed the Indian Olympic Association to resolve the issue at the earliest.

“A special request has been made to the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee on a priority basis to provide Ms. Gurung with the requisite accreditation,” IOA acting pres-ident Anil Khanna said.

The Boxing Federation of India said as per rules only 33per cent of the playing contingent is allowed as support staff. The Indian boxing contingent has 12 playing members (8 men and 4 women) and as per rules, the number of support staff will be four, including travelling coaches.

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