Two-time Olympian boxer Manoj Kumar has been embroiled in controversy for a while now. The 69-kg welterweight category boxer, who’s accused Sports Authority of India (SAI) of not releasing funds for his treatment (hip injury) costing over Rs 5 lakh, seems unlikely to make it to Tokyo Olympics 2020. He hasn’t made it to the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) or the list of campers in NIS, Patiala.
According to a report by TOI, Manoj’s accusations on SAI have backfired. The sports ministry’s final report implies that Manoj’s reflexes had slowed down which makes it tough for him to qualify for Tokyo Olympics. The recurring injuries have only slimmed his chances of taking the ring.
The report has also raised questions about BFI’s involvement in the issue. It is believed that they knew about his injury but let him play anyway. It also says that he travelled to Jakarta carrying an injury.
There are stark differences between the doctors’s report in ministry’s report and the 32-year-old’s side of the story. “He told us about the injury just days ahead of the Asiad. He came up to me and told me his hip was aggravated. Since it was too late for BFI to name a replacement in his category, Manoj was allowed to compete. The MRI scans did reveal it but he was revealed,” the doctor revealed on condition of anonymity.
Here’s what the CWG 2018 bronze-medallist had to say about the allegations: “I have all the mails and letters with me to show that I had sent the proposal to the SAI. Yes, I had developed some pain ahead of the Asiad, but the MRI scans didn’t show any major signs of worry. I competed at the Asiad fit, it’s just that the Kyrgyz boxer chose to fight unfairly and repeatedly hit me under the belt. If I wasn’t fit, how did I win the CWG medal and national championships.”
The Haryana boxer is desperate to prove himself and made a strong statement on ‘slow reflexes’ remark, said: “They are saying my reflexes have become slow. I will be returning to the ring in June-July this year and will shut my critics’ mouth by qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. I am just yet not finished. There’s enough firepower left in me.”