The Asian Boxing Championship has been moved from India to Dubai. Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: As the coronavirus pandemic rages across India, there is a growing concern within the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) about sending Olympic Games-qualified boxers to Dubai for the rearranged Asian Boxing Championship this month.

Nine boxers have achieved Olympic quota places for the Tokyo Games scheduled to be held in July-August. The Dubai competition starts on May 21.

Of these quota winners, two — Simranjit Kaur (women 60kg) and Ashish Kumar (men’s75kg) — recently tested positive for COVID-19 and are recuperating. While the BFI has ruled out Simranjit’s participation in Dubai as she will complete 15-day quarantine a week before the continental event, Kumar could also be doubtful.

“Taking into account the safety of the boxers we shouldn’t send the team as health is more important than competing in an Asian meet,” a senior BFI official said. “Team coaches should not push the boxers. If any boxer tests positive for COVID-19 during the Asian Boxing Championships, it would mean skipping 15 to 20 days of training close to the Tokyo Olympics.”

The BFI is looking to keep travel to a minimum as in March, the India team competed in international tournaments in Spain and Turkey. During both events, elite boxers tested positive for COVID-19 and missed training. Several boxers in the national camp in Patiala and New Delhi have also have tested positive.

The BFI’s team doctor Karanjit Singh said all the boxers are being monitored.