New Delhi, March 18
Adding to the controversies of the ongoing women’s boxing World Championships, a registered Indian boxer has appeared for a different country.
Anjani Teli, who created history by becoming the first-ever Nepal boxer to win a bout at the World Championships could face sanctions from the International Boxing Association (IBA) after it was alleged that she has changed her name and also does not have the required permission to switch nationalities.
Anjani beat Dominican Republic’s Miguelina Garcia in a 4-3 split decision verdict in the 50-52kg category on Thursday.
It is alleged that Anjani was formerly known as Hemlata, the former Delhi-based pugilist, who also trained in Rohtak under Naveen Khokhar, and changed her name to make the switch.
Hemlata has a BFI registration No. BX 5029 and won a gold medal at the Delhi State Women’s Boxing Championships in 2021. She was also a quarterfinalist in the 48-50kg category at the Elite Women’s National Boxing meet that was held in Haryana’s Hisar from October 21 to 27 in 2021. She lost 0-5 to Puja Bishnoi.
Interestingly, Anjani’s issue was raised by Delhi coach Santosh Maurya with the Delhi Amateur Boxing Association (DABA) before the 2021 Delhi State Women’s Championships. However, no action was taken and she was allowed to participate in the tournament.
The issue came to the notice of the IBA after it was flagged by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) through an email. “This matter was brought to our notice and we have duly apprised IBA through an email communication today. It is for IBA to decide on this issue,” the BFI said in a statement.
The IBA is now looking into the matter. “The International Boxing Association is investigating this particular case. All parties will be informed accordingly in due time,” the brief statement from IBA read.
If found guilty the boxer will be forced to withdraw from the competition and her result will be declared null and void.
However, it is unlikely that Anjani, who is scheduled to fight top seed Kathreen Marie Sterling of Haiti on Monday, will be stopped from representing Nepal in this tournament as the matter is still being investigated and the world body does not want to take any rash decision in this matter.
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