New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI) Boxer Ajani Teli (52kg) was on Sunday cleared by the International Boxing Association (IBA) to continue representing Nepal at the ongoing Women's World Championships here.
The IBA had launched an investigation after allegations that Teli was ineligible to compete for Nepal.
It was alleged that the flyweight boxer, who was born in New Delhi, might be holding two passports.
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) in an official statement said Teli participated by the name of 'Hemlata Gupta' in the 2021 National Championships and provided an Aadhaar card as her proof of identity.
However, the world body has cleared the boxer.
"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," the IBA said in statement.
"Eight years ago she received Nepali citizenship, as her parents are originally from the country, therefore, she is fully eligible to represent Nepal at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi," it added.
Teli was born in Delhi to Nepali parents, who moved to India in the 1990s. She did her schooling form the national capital and also won the State Championship which opened the doors for her to play in the 2021 National Championships.
But when she didn't get an opportunity in India, she decided to represent Nepal.
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 was 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.
He added that her sister had earlier tried to get an Indian passport but her application was rejected.
"She had applied for the India passport in 2020-21 but it was rejected. She competed after showing her Aadhar card."
Nepal coach Prachand Sharma said he was not aware of Teli's Indian past and she is being dragged into an unnecessary controversy.
"She's our citizen, she will play for us. We just got to know about this (she played for India). But she is our citizen, we have brought her so she will play for Nepal.
"Yeh sab bekaar hai. (This controversy is useless.) Even if she is Indian then also nothing matters, because IBA has her name because she played Nepal Nationals and qualified for this tournament.
"Secondly, there are so many Nepali people who have won medals for India. No body talks about that. Why are they talking about this is it because she won a fight? This is not right," fumed Sharma.