Olympic bronze medallist boxer M C Mary Kom today came out in support of the controversial pregnancy tests conducted by Sports Authority of India on World Championships-bound women pugilists, saying that it was good for the safety of the players.
She said that conducting the tests was not a new development as she herself had undergone the same.
"I myself has undergone these tests. I am not involved in these recent tests but in my opinion it is good for the safety of the boxers themselves. Nothing much should be read on these tests," Mary Kom said on the sidelines of a felicitation programme by Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.
"Moreover, these have been done under the guidelines of the AIBA and applied worldwide," she added.
Eight women boxers, who are set to compete at the World Championships in Korea next week, were subjected to pregnancy tests by SAI under the new requirements of AIBA though the move was criticised by experts.
The invite sent to Boxing India by the AIBA to take part in the World Championships at Jeju Islands, South Korea, specifically sought a non-pregnancy form to be issued for the women boxers by a doctor.
The five-time world champion said that in the last few years, these pregnancy tests were not made mandatory for all international events and sometimes only a declaration by the boxers were enough in some cases.
"In the last two-three years, some international tournaments would require pregnancy tests and some would not not. So, a declaration was enough for some events. Now, if the AIBA says it is mandatory, then we should follow it," said Mary Kom.
Asked if pregnancy tests could be a matter of concern for unmarried women, May Kom simply said, "In my opinion it should be OK for them also. These days, women are smart and they know what is going on around."
Thirteen sportspersons from the Northeastern region of the country, who have won medals in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, were today felicitated with cash awards by the DONER Ministry at the North East Festival.
The other athletes felicitated were gymnast Dipa Karmakar, judokas Kalpana Thoudam and Sushila Likmabam, boxers Sarita Devi and Devendro Singh, hockey players Chinglensana Kangujam, Kothajit Singh, Chan Chan Devi and Sushila Devi, weightlifters Sanjita Khumukcham and Mirabai Chanu and wushu player Yumnam Sanathoi Devi.
The gold winners were handed a cheque of Rs 10 lakh while the silver and bronze medallists were presented Rs 5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh respectively.
Mary Kom said that the country can expect more medals from the northeast athletes in the future.
"We have got great support from the government and we have to give more medals to the country," she said.
"With the new Sports University coming up in Manipur, the facilities will be better. These days, competition is tough and it is not easy to win medals. But with better facilities we can bring more laurels to the country," she said.