Two time Olympian boxer Manoj Kumar on Friday wrote to Union Minister of Railway Piyush Goyal, alleging corruption by senior boxing officials, especially, Ashok Panwar, who now works for Railway, for manipulating bouts in the All India Railways Boxing Championship to make him lose 3-2 against his nephew Dinesh Dagar.
In the letter addressed to Goyal, Kumar states, “This is to bring to your notice about certain corrupt officials and corrupt practices that are ruining the future of boxers, including senior boxers like me, just because they want to further the careers of the boxers of their choice.”
“I want to particularly bring to your notice the deeds of senior boxing official Ashok Panwar, working with railways, who recently manipulated bouts in the All India Railways Boxing Championship, to make me lose 3-2 against his nephew Dinesh Dagar. The championship was held at the Karnail Singh railways stadium, New Delhi, and the finals were held on September 5,” Kumar alleged in the letter.
In the letter, Kumar further states, “One look at the session 4 bout fixtures will show you that the referees and judges for bouts number 38 where Dinesh Dagar, his nephew was playing and bout number 42 where his son Manish Panwar was playing, during the semi-finals are the same.”
“Just before my bout I had raised the objection, that I want the referees and judges, who were the same as the ones mentioned in the above two bouts changed…Despite that three more judges and referees who also have a similar understanding with Panwar were called for the final bout between me and Dinesh. Despite it being a one-way fight in my favour, I was made to lose the bout 3-2,” Kumar added.
The two time Olympian boxer further said that all the boxers are aware of the way he (Panwar) sets up the bouts for a price. But these boxers have not lodged an official complaint, because they feel that Panwar is very well connected in the boxing world and can mess up their careers, not allowing them to grow.
The boxer from Haryana’s Kaithal also alleged that Panwar has a team of 8-10 judges and referees, with whom he sets up the bouts, and with their help, he can help a losing boxer win and can make the winning boxer lose too.
“If he can mess up the bout of such a senior boxer like me, then I dread to think what he would do with the junior boxers. The rule book states that no judge or official who is in a decisive position can be part of the tournament if his blood relative is part of the tournament,” Kumar said.
“I would like to request both the railway sports authorities and the Boxing Federation that they should investigate and act on these corrupt officials and ensure that they are permanently banned from the sport. I would also like to meet you in person to explain in detail about the corrupt practices indulged in by these officials, who are giving the sport a bad name,” he added.