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Tournaments like All India Police should be scrapped: Vijender

April 10, 2010 16:06 IST

Controversies and flouting of rules marred the just-concluded All India Police Boxing Tournament, prompting some of India's top pugilists to call for the scrapping of the departmental event.

Allegations of cheating flew thick and fast against judges, a pugilist had to be pushed out of the ring for protesting and rules with regards to medical and weigh-ins before bouts were not followed at the tournament which concluded in Pune on Saturday.

And Olympic and World Championship bronze medalist Vijender Singh feels if this is the way a tournament is going to be organised, it's better not to have it at all.

"Tournaments like the All India Police should be scrapped because there is no regard for rules and regulations here. A boxer's reputation goes for a toss if he loses in a tournament like this where judges are not qualified enough," the world number one middle-weight (75kg) pugilist said.

The event was hit by allegations of cheating by judges after Commonwealth champion and Asian Championship silver medallist Jai Bhagwan (60kg) lost by a point in his quarter-final against BSFs Pradeep Kumar.

Jai said he was deliberately denied points by judges despite landing clear punches on his rival, an allegation that was backed by his fellow boxers who saw the bout.

On Friday, a boxer who refused to leave the ring after losing a close bout, incidentally against a BSF man, was pushed out of the ring.

Vijender said he has seen the manner in which the tournament is conducted during his journey to stardom.

"It's a joke. Why would somebody want to compete in a tournament where rules are flouted like this?" he said.

A DSP with the Haryana Police, Vijender did not compete for his unit in Pune due to a nose injury he picked up during the Commonwealth Championships here.

Vijender's views were echoed by Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Beijing Olympics quarter-finalist Akhil Kumar.

"It has to be fair and transparent. After all, Commonwealth and Asian level medallists are competing here. Rules have to be followed and if it can't be done then scrap the tournament. Why play with a boxer's career?" he said.

On the day of finals, medical and weigh-ins, integral part of any boxing tournament, were not conducted.

"The organising committee decided that medical and weigh in would be conducted only on the first day. So, that has been the case so far. It's not compulsory because it is essentially a departmental tournament," tournament's technical delegate B B Ram Mohan said.

Rules clearly state that a boxer found overweight on the day of the bout is disqualified but what happens if a weigh-in is not conducted at all?

"These rules are for national level tournaments where the boxers compete for seven-eight days. Their weights are not going to fluctuate in four days," he explained.

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