New Delhi: In a major development the, International Boxing Association (IBA) gave a clean chit to the India-turned-Nepal boxer Anjani Teli to compete at the ongoing 2023 Women's World Boxing Championships here on Sunday.
IBA launched an investigation on Saturday after complaints of impersonation were raised against Anjani.
It was claimed that Anjani had previously boxed under the name of Hemlata and is a registered boxer with the Boxing Federation of India’s registration (No. BX 5029). She was a medallist at the Delhi state women’s boxing championships in 2021 and a quarterfinalist in the light flyweight (48-50kg) category at the 5th elite women’s national boxing meet, held in Haryana’s Hisar from October 21 to 27 the same year.
But after a thorough investigation by the world body, it has been said that Anjani never acquired an Indian passport which makes her eligible to compete for Nepal.
The statement from IBA read, "New Delhi-born boxer Anjani Teli has never acquired an Indian passport, nor competed internationally representing India. Hence, it doesn’t violate any articles of the IBA Technical and Competition Rules in this particular case."
In a separate communication to The Bridge, IBA said, "It is a clear case and Anjani is eligible for the tournament. We have seen many such cases in the past where players have played nationals somewhere else and represented some other country. It is all within the rules."
Anjani Teli was born in New Delhi to Nepali parents who migrated from Nepal to India in 1990. She has completed her education but due to her roots in Nepal, she is fully eligible to represent Nepal at the ongoing Women’s World Boxing Championships.
On changing her name, her brother Rajesh Teli clarified to PTI that there was no malice intended. "We had no intention to change the name. Our grandfather who lived in a village in Nepal got the papers made by the name of Anjani Teli 8-9 years ago for citizenship.
"So, according to the documents in Kapilavastu (her village in Nepal) that were her name. We showed those papers to get a Nepali passport made in 2023 after she was selected in the World Championship as IBA needed it. "But in Delhi her name was Hemlata and thus her Aadhaar and other documents were made by that name," he said.
Talking about the matter coach of Nepal, Prachand Sharma fumed, "She is our citizen and she has played in Nepal to qualify for the tournament. All of this is unnecessary at this moment when she has won her first tournament."
On Day one of the championship Anjani created history after winning the first-ever bout for Nepal at the biennial event, defeating Dominican Republic’s Miguelina Garcia in a 4-3 split verdict.
She will be next seen in action on Monday, taking on the World No. 10 and top seed, Haiti’s Marie Sterling Kathreen, in the evening session.