Algeria’s Imane Khelif was disqualified hours before her gold medal bout at the women’s world championships in New Delhi after she failed to meet the eligibility criteria, the International Boxing Association (IBA) said on Sunday.
The 23-year-old was scheduled to meet Yang Liu in the 66kg division final but Thailand’s Janjaem Suwannapheng, who lost to Khelif in the semi-finals, will fight the Chinese instead.
“A boxer from Algeria Imane Khelif was excluded from the IBA World Boxing Championships due to the failure to meet the IBA eligibility criteria,” the governing body said in a statement.
“The IBA upholds its rules and regulations as well as its athletes’ personal and medical privacy, the eligibility criteria breach therefore cannot be shared by the IBA.”
The Algerian Olympic Committee said Khelif was disqualified for “medical reasons” and that it would support her preparation for the African qualification tournament for next year’s Paris Olympics.
Algerian media reported Khelif was disqualified for high level of testosterone in her system.
“There are some countries that did not want Algeria to win a gold medal,” the boxer told Algerian Ennahar TV.
“This is a conspiracy and a big conspiracy, and we will not be silent about it.”
Taiwan’s double world champion Lin Yu-ting lost her bronze medal after she also failed to meet the IBA eligibility criteria, the governing body of amateur boxing said.
Bulgarian Svetlana Kamenova Staneva, who lost to Lin in the quarter-finals, was awarded the bronze medal.
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