Indian boxer rues inadequate medical facilities

Akhil Kumar has had some serious issues with his preparation to

defend his Commonwealth Games boxing title.

First, there were widespread reports in India that his bed

collapsed when he was sat on it the day he moved into the athletes’

village. Now, he’s bemoaning a lack of good medical facilities for

the Indian boxing team.

The Indian team ”does not have good doctors and enough medical

facilities, which hinders the recovery process after injuries,”

Akhil, the reigning gold medalist in the 56-kilogram class, said in

response to questions about the injuries that have plagued him

since his quarterfinal appearance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

India had a $146 million budget to prepare athletes for these

games, which have been in the news for all the wrong reasons,

including health and safety concerns from international athletes

and even glitches in the boxing such as faulty scales which forced

some into desperate attempts to shed weight.

National boxing federation secretary P.K. Muralidharan Raja

tried to play down the complaints.

”It is his personal view. I don’t believe in gagging anyone,”

said Raja. ”But we have our dedicated team of a doctor,

physiotherapist and masseur.”

Raja suggested that the incident with the bed in the village had

been blown out of proportion.

”It was one portion of a ply that went in slightly, it was not

as if the whole bed had collapsed. I think the focus nowadays has

been on the one per cent of things that are going wrong, rather

than the 99 per cent that are going right,” he added.

Akhil’s criticism comes amid news of around 15 swimmers in the

England and Australian teams experiencing a stomach virus and three

Ugandan officials getting injured at a security barrier at the

games village.

The run up to the games was marred by security fears after an

attack on foreign tourists at a prominent site, delays in

construction of venues, a filthy games village and a pedestrian

bridge near the main venue that collapsed, injuring 27 workers.