New Delhi: After the lifting of suspension on Indian boxers, the barred Indian Amateur Boxing Federation has got another shot in the arm with the world body, AIBA, approving its amended constitution.
"The amended constitution has been approved and we have sent a copy of it to the Sports Ministry as well," IABF Secretary General Rajesh Bhandari said on Monday.
AIBA had provisionally suspended the IABF last year, citing the International Olympic Committee's ban on the Indian Olympic Association and "possible manipulation" in its elections. The governing body had asked the IABF to amend its constitution to make it compliant with the AIBA Statute as one of the pre-requisites for the lifting of suspension.
"The AIBA wanted us to drop the word amateur because we have incorporated the provisions for professional boxing as well. We have also incorporated the age and tenure limitation guidelines which should satisfy the ministry as well," said Bhandari.
The IABF was also suspended by the Sports Ministry, which wants it told hold a re-election.
"We are not averse to a re-election but we have given a point by point reply to the ministry's objections. They should tell us, what is it that we have done wrong," he said.
The nominated post of Chairman, which is currently occupied by former IABF President Abhay Singh Chautala, has also been removed from the amended constitution.
"We want the suspension to be revoked at least from the Ministry's side now. We have adhered to the sports code and have incorporated changes as suggested to us. Because this is what was discussed at our last meeting with the Ministry officials. Now they should keep their word after going through the constitution," he added.
Asked whether AIBA is insisting on a re-election, Bhandari said, "They have not conveyed this demand. If they ask anything in writing, we will respond accordingly."
Meanwhile, the invitation for participation in the Asian Junior Championships for men, scheduled from March 10 in Philippines, has also arrived.
"Only coaches and boxers will go but the good thing is that boxers will not suffer anymore. Now these boys will have an aim. Earlier, they were training without a sense of direction," he said.
Earlier, in a letter to the IABF, the AIBA said that its Executive Committee decided to allow participation of Indian boxers in international events despite the continuation of suspension of the IABF.
The AIBA, however, made it clear that no official will be allowed to accompany the boxers in any international competition. The development came after India's IOC member Randhir Singh spoke to AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu and followed it up with a letter, stating that the Indian boxers should not suffer due to IOC's ban on India. In India's sporting history, the country's athletes have never participated in any competition under the flag of an international entity.