Officials trade punches as boxers slide in circa 2013

Officials trade punches as boxers slide in circa 2013

The continuing administrative logjam worsened into a full-fledged factional tug-of-war while Indian boxing's poster boy, Vijender Singh, found himself at the center of a devastating drug scandal in what was a thoroughly tumultuous year for the country's pugilists.

Suspended internationally last year, the Indian Boxing Federation remained a pariah this year too, preventing the country's boxers from competing under the national flag.

To top it all, Vijender, the man who attained nationwide stardom after bringing home India's maiden Olympic and World Championship medals, was implicated in a drug scandal, tarnishing his reputation even though no evidence was found against him after the initial brouhaha.

It was a low ebb for the man and the sport itself even though he bounced back to return to the national camp after being forced off the ring to deal with the scandal triggered by the arrest of an alleged NRI drug peddler, who named the star boxer as one of his clients.

The former world number one was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing after being subjected to a dope test by the National Anti-Doping Agency.

In fact, there was not much to cheer for in Indian boxing this year barring a fine show in the Asian Championships, where Shiva Thapa, the latest star on the horizon, fetched the country a gold medal for the first time since 2009.

The year started with hectic attempts to get the suspension, imposed December last, revoked with the IBF writing to the AIBA on several occasions only to be snubbed by the world body, which insisted on a re-election and constitutional amendments in compliance with its statute.

Amid the letter exchanges, a livid AIBA temporarily banned Indian boxers as well but eventually relented in the interest of the pugilists.

The country's boxers continued to compete under the AIBA flag after getting clearance on an event-to-event basis.

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