The Boxing Federation of India officials were surprised to find professional boxer Neeraj Goyat turn up at NIS Patiala where the national boxing camp is set to begin for the Olympic-bound athletes in two weeks.
Goyat, who turned professional in 2012, hasn’t qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games and according to the Standard Operating Procedure set by Sports Authority of India, only Olympic-bound boxers are permitted inside the NIS Patiala campus.
Goyat is among the three boxers ( Vikas Krishan, Neeraj Goyat and Satish Kumar)who are facing an investigation from SAI over allegedly flouting quarantine protocols on the campus after the boxers were asked to self isolate till their Covid-19 test results returned negative. But Goyat’s presence at the campus itself is questionable.
“That is surprising to us and that’s what we are trying to find out,” Jay Kowli, the general-secretary of BFI told Scroll.in.
“Of course, Neeraj is our former superstar and he has now turned pro, and Vikas is also a pro. They always move and train together, but that does not mean that they should break any rules,” he added.
“NIS Patiala has been a second home for these boxers for many years so they thought that it wouldn’t be such a big deal. But Neeraj is not in NIS Patiala on directions of BFI, it’s purely an SAI issue,” he continued.
Scroll.in have reached out to SAI for clarification and the story will be updated once SAI responds to the queries.
It was earlier reported that Goyat, Asiad gold medallist Krishan and Asian Games bronze winner Satish Kumar mingled with other athletes at the campus when they were forbidden to do so as they were placed in seven-day quarantine.
As per the SAI’s safety protocols for training, boxers were barred from doing human sparring, told not to access the ring and use their personal equipment for all forms of training.
However, a four-member committee headed by SAI secretary Rohit Bharadwaj that also includes Target Olympic Podium Scheme CEO Commander Rajesh Rajagopalan, former hockey coach AK Bansal and SAI Deputy Director (Personnel) Dandapani will investigate the matter with the role of NIS Executive Director also being probed.
On Monday, a doctor attached to the Indian boxing team tested positive for Covid-19. All boxers at the camp who were tested have returned negative but will have to undergo a second round of testing on Tuesday.
The pugilists were due to start training later this month or early in August after the Boxing Federation of India got the SAI nod to conduct the national camp amid the pandemic.
The camp is currently being overseen by SAI after the Delhi High Court stayed the sports ministry’s recognition to 57 national federations including the BFI.