Just days to go for the start of the 2022 Commonwealth Games and medal favourite Lovlina Borgohain has been forced to take to social media to bring to light the 'mental harassment' she's facing with both her coaches not being allowed to help train her, which has led to a complete halt in her training regimen.
The 24-year-old Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist says her coach Sandya Gurung, who was part of the team that helped Lovlina during her Tokyo campaign, is not being allowed to enter the Games village, while her other coach has been sent back to India.
"Today with great sorrow I want to reveal that harassment is going on with me. The coaches who helped me win the Olympic medal were removed which hindered my training process. One of the coaches is Sandhya Gurungji, who is a Dronacharya awardee. Both of my coaches have to plead to be included in the training camp and they are added quite late," Lovlina said in her tweet.
"Right now my coach Sandhya Gurungji is outside Commonwealth Village. With all this, my training process has stopped exactly 8 days before the games. My second coach has also been sent back to India. This happened even after I made many requests, due to which I have suffered a lot of mental harassment. I don't know how to focus in the game. Due to this my last world championship was also spoiled. And because of this politics I do not want to spoil my CWG. I hope that I could break this politics and win a medal for my country. Jai Hind," she wrote.
Gurung, who is credited with pulling Lovlina out of a difficult mental place before the Tokyo Olympics, had travelled with the boxing contingent to Ireland where the pugilists underwent a 15-day camp.
On arrival in Birmingham, she was stuck at the airport as she was a last-minute addition to India's CWG contingent and her accreditation hadn't arrived. She was checked in to the hotel where the extra officials are staying, which did not allow her access to the Games village.
After winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year, Lovlina has had a whirlwind year with the Assam boxer admitting she lost focus due to the endless functions and other commitments outside the boxing ring, which affected her performance.
Federation, IOA React
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) issued a statement later on Monday, saying they were trying to give Lovlina all the of support.
Reacting to the post of Lovlina Borgohain, the Sports Ministry tweeted, "We have urged the Indian Olympic Association to immediately arrange for the accreditation of the coach of Lovlina Borgohain."
The BFI said that the federation is closely working with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) so that Sandhya Gurung, coach of Lovlina Lovlina Borgohain, could be a part of the team in Birmingham.
"Only 33 per cent of the playing contingent is allowed as 'Support Staff' which in BFI's case for the 12 boxers (8 men and 4 women) stands to be 4 support staff, (including coaches) who were to travel with the Team to Burmingham," BFI said.
"Boxing Federation of India ensured that Sandhya Gurung was at the training camp in Ireland. BFI is closely working with IOA so that Sandhya Gurung could be a part of the team in Birmingham. In the meanwhile, delegate transport and accommodation at ETO's hotel has been already provided to her," BFI said in a release.
"The requirements of boxing with respect to coaches and support staff is a little different as there are multiple bouts, which could be one after another. The IOA understood BFI's point of view and therefore, extended help with maximum possible additional support staff. With IOA's help the number of support staff went up from 4 to 8 for the entire contingent of 12 boxers," the BFI said.