Mary Kom steps down as Observer. Sushil, Akhil may follow suit

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Mary Kom

Bengaluru, December 6: Five-time world champion MC Mary Kom has resigned as the National Observer for Indian boxing after Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore made it clear that active sportspersons will not be considered for the position.

In the same context, wrestler Sushil Kumar and boxer Akhil Kumar too may have to step down as both of them have restarted their pursuit of sporting events in their respective categories.

"I resigned as National Observer after having a word with Mr. Rathore. I had been requested to take up the position, it was not something I had asked for," said Mary Kom, who claimed her fifth Asian Championships gold medal last month.

"I had inquired about the rule on not having active athletes as observers with the then Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas when it was offered to me," she explained.

"But at that time, I was told that I should nonetheless accept the position. I did so on the insistence of the Ministry and I don't want unnecessary controversies about something that I had not asked for," she said.

The 35-year-old Olympic bronze-medallist was among 12 national observers appointed by the then Sports Minister Vijay Goel in March.

The list also includes the likes of Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra, double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar among others.

Of these, Sushil and Mary Kom are still active in their respective sports.

Akhil, on the other hand, is no longer a part of the national camp after giving up amateur boxing.

He has already rejected the conflict of interest charge, saying that he is neither a beneficiary of government schemes nor a part of the national camp.

The boxer is also a Rajya Sabha MP and is in contention for the Commonwealth and Asian Games next year.

Story first published: Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 11:43 [IST]
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