Indian boxing body given Dec. 4 deadline for polls

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The Indian Boxing Federation was given a deadline of Dec. 4 by AIBA on Wednesday to organize fresh elections as it seeks to return from a suspension imposed last year.

''This morning, AIBA accepted IBF's request for a one-month extension to arrange the elections,'' Sebastien Gillot, communications director of the world governing body, told the Associated Press by email. ''The deadline, therefore, is Dec. 4, 2013.''

The IBF was suspended in December last year for not following proper election procedures. It was also no longer recognized by India's sports ministry for the same reason, and for failing to adhere to age and tenure restrictions of a government sports code.

The body, whose previous president Abhay Singh Chautala had been elevated to chairman during elections which were not recognized by AIBA, had been barred within days of the suspension from the Indian Olympic Association, of which Chautala was the new president.

The IOA was suspended by the International Olympic Committee for not following its constitution and for electing tainted officials, notably its new secretary-general Lalit Bhanot, who had been jailed for 10 months last year in a corruption case related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

But even though the IOA is yet to adhere to all the conditions of its parent body, the world boxing body is hoping IBF will soon be back in the international fold.

''Last Monday, August 26, AIBA provided feedback to the IBF on the draft constitution and the parties are very close to agreeing a final form of the constitution. The IBF is moving forward with its internal approval process,'' Gillot said.

AIBA had repeatedly warned the Indian body to organize re-elections. As of now, Indian boxers are allowed to participate as independent athletes but AIBA recently threatened to bar Indian boxers and coaches from all international events if it did not hold elections by Nov. 4.

''AIBA is satisfied with the progress that the IBF has made with regard to the holding of new elections and the adoption of a new constitution,'' Gillot added.

Boxing is an important sport for India, which has only recently started to win medals at world level.

India won its first boxing medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics through Vijender Singh, who took bronze. Female boxer M.C. Mary Kom won bronze at London, which were the first games to include women's boxing.

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