Next week, eight women boxers from India will be traveling to the World Championships in Korea. The boxers, including those that are juniors, have had to undergo pregnancy tests before their participation.
While many have criticized this and consider it to be a violation of these women’s rights, especially those who are juniors. The Sports Authority of India is standing firm on this decision since it became a requirement to have pregnancy tests according to AIBA, the Amateur International Boxing Association.
The decision to insist on pregnancy tests before the international boxing championships is designed to protect both the boxer, and a potential unborn baby. There are those, however, who feel it should be based on trust and that it is a violation for women to be tested, especially those who are minors.
Sudhir Setia, the SAI Executive Director explained that the tests had in fact been done, and that the rules were not violated by performing the tests, and that they are in fact following the AIBA guidelines.
Setia explained: “This is a matter handled by the federation doctor. But this is not the first time our women boxers had gone outside the country after undergoing these tests. Each of the women boxers are required to give a certificate (that they are not pregnant) for their safety as well as that of the would-be baby.”
He further commented: “This is no doubt a sensitive issue in India but it is mandatory under AIBA rules. We have not violated any rules.”
The rules that that women boxers must submit a non-pregnancy declaration and if they are under 18, it needs to be signed by one of the parents or legal guardians of the junior boxer. While the objections claim that this would have been enough, Boxing India notes that a doctor cannot declare that a woman is not pregnant without having done a pregnancy test.