AIBA limits Boxing India’s coaches at Games while athlete ruled ineligible due to hyperandrogenism

Published 22 July 2014 | Authored by: Manali Kulkarni
This week’s Indian sports law update reports on developments in Indian boxing, cricket, and athletics. Boxing India’s (BI’s)1 decision to postpone its elections on July 9 has resulted in the International Boxing Association (AIBA)2 issuing an election deadline for August 15, after which Boxing India will lose its provisional membership rights; AIBA has also banned Indian boxing coaches from being ringside at the Commonwealth Games.
In cricket, the conflict with India’s Ravindra Jadeja and England’s James Anderson has resulted in both facing various charges under the International Cricket Council (ICC)3 Code of Conduct, Levels 2 and 3, with a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, July 22. As for Indian athletics, Indian sprinter, Dutee Chand was suspended last week after her blood tests confirmed hyperandrogenism, resulting in her being ineligible to compete in the female category.

AIBA gives Boxing India an election deadline; Indian boxing coaches' presence ring-side is limited by AIBA

After BI postponed its scheduled elections for July 94 to an unidentified later date, the AIBA banned all Indian coaches “from being present ringside” at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games (CWG)5.6  

The ban on Indian boxing coaches ruled that “world boxing officials7 would be with the boxers rather than the four coaches, two of which are Indian chief coach GS Sandhu and Cuban coach Blas Iglesias.8 All the coaches will be seated in the “spectators’ gallery” for all bouts during the CWG.9Rule 16.1.1, AIBA Technical Rules states: “Only AIBA certified Coaches can work as Seconds in all AIBA Competitions”.10  

The CWG organizers were notified of this decision on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, after receiving a letter from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA)11. The Indian male boxers were also notified of this decision on Tuesday.12

A member of the ad-hoc BI committee, Rakesh Gupta, explained that he assumed BI officials were not permitted near the ring, but that this did not apply to the boxing coaches themselves.Gupta concluded by stating that IOA president, N Ramachandran, will be requesting the AIBA to withdraw its decision. AIBA has yet to officially respond to this matter.13

The day before this ban was issued, the AIBA announced that it would withdraw BI’s rights as a provisional member if its new constitution is not finalized and elections are not held by August 15, 2014.14 As for long-term effects on the boxers, if BI were to lose its provisional rights then Indian boxers would not be permitted to compete under the Indian flag for the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in September -October 2014.15 The IOA initially created BI to scout for qualified boxers to compete in the Commonwealth Game and Asian Games. Boxing India would become a fully recognized member in the AIBA, governing all of Indian boxing, if BI holds its elections by the August 15 deadline.16 BI has yet to release a statement with a new election schedule.

Jadeja and Anderson both charged under ICC Conduct of Code, no video evidence available

Due to the occurrence during the lunch break on the second day of the first Investec match between England and India, England’s James Anderson has been charged by the ICC with “abusing and pushing Ravindra Jadeja” after continued verbal arguments between the two when they left the field.17 India’s complaint was brought to the ICC’s notice on July 11 about 24 hours after the incident.18

If found guilty, Anderson will face at least a two Tests ban, as his misconduct is considered an ICC Level 3 violation, involving “four suspension points and two equates to missing one Test” at minimum.19 ICC charged Anderson under Article 2.3.3 in the ICC Code of Conduct as a Level 3 violation. 20

Going forward, Article 5.2 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel21requires all Level 3 charges to be heard by an ICC-appointed Judicial Commissioner and for a hearing to be scheduled within 14 days.22

England team manager, Phil Neale, charged Jadeja with a Level 2 offence under the ICC Code of conduct, as a direct consequence of the Indian team charing Anderson with a Level 3 offence.23

Jadeja was charged under Article 2.2.11; ”All Level 2 breaches carry a fine of between 50-100% of the match fee and/or up to two suspension points and come under the match referee's purview. Two suspension points equates to a ban of one Test, or two ODIs”.24

Though the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)25 has expressed their surprise in the seriousness behind India’s response to such a supposedly minor incidence, India captain, MS Dhoni, however suggested that there was “physical contact”.26  Anderson is “categorically” denying all accusations.27

Due to the conflicting summary of events from Jadeja and Anderson as well as other players who witnessed the conflict, both parties were hoping for video evidence as the deciding factor at the hearing. As of Sunday, July 20, 2014, it was confirmed that video footage is not available.28

A preliminary hearing for Anderson will be conducted via teleconference on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, by ICC-appointed Judicial Commissioner, Gordon Lewis, Australia's representative on the ICC’s Code of Conduct commission, to set the hearing date for Anderson’s charges. 29 Further information on Jadeja’s hearing is not determined yet.30

Indian sprinter suspended due to hyperandrogenism

Following a request from the Athletics Federation of India (AFI)31, the Sports Authority of India (SAI)32 conducted blood tests on Indian sprinter, Dutee Chand, confirming that Chand can not compete in the female category due to hyperandrogenism33.34 Chand will be required to take necessary medication to lower her androgen levels to a normal margin before competing in the female category again. It must be noted that the blood tests on Chand that reflect hyperandrogenism do not determine her gender, but solely her androgen levels, which has been reiterated by the SAI.35

Chand has voiced that she was not informed that these tests would be conducted and assumed that she was giving blood for a routine check before the Commonwealth Games.36 With the results, Chand will not be competing in Glasgow and has yet to hear directly from the SAI or AFI on the matter. The Indian Olympic Association and the Odisha government have contacted Chand, offering to send two female officers to take her back to her village as well as provide any medical support necessary to counter the high androgen levels so she can compete again.37

According to the the Government of India’s policies on hyperandrogenism38, Chand can appeal this decision within 30 days by requesting a review of her blood tests. Chand has yet to comment on how she plans to proceed.

The State of Odisha, Chand’s home state, will be requesting the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)38  for the reports39 that resulted in Chand’s suspension in hopes to investigate this matter.40  The IAAF’s regulations on hyperandrogenism can be accessed here.41

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About the Author

Manali Kulkarni

Manali Kulkarni

Manali is the COO at LawInSport and executive contributor of the editorial board for LawInSport. She holds an LLM in Sports Law from Nottingham Law School (Nottingham Trent University).

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