NEW DELHI, July 23: Olympic bronze-medallist and five-time world champion MC Mary Kom today denied reports that she had sought top men�s boxer Shiva Thapa�s ouster from the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme during a meeting of the national observers here.
Reacting to a report that she had sought Thapa�s removal from the TOP scheme, Mary Kom issued a statement to deny having made any such remark at the meeting which took place on Friday.
�The article states that I have termed Shiva Thapa�s career as over and he would do nothing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This is completely fabricated and it borders on being defamatory,� Mary Kom said in her statement.
�Let me put this on record, I have never said anything like Shiva�s career being over and he should be dropped from the TOP scheme,� she added.
�Playing with the reputation of a hard-working boxer using falsehood is not acceptable to me.�
The 23-year-old Thapa is currently preparing for the World Championships, where he won a bronze medal in 2015, at a training trip in France. He recently won a silver medal at the Asian Championships in Tashkent.
Mary Kom also denied saying that former Commonwealth Games Manoj Kumar was past his prime. The 30-year-old Manoj has also qualified for the World Championships to held from September 25 in Hamburg.
�I would categorically like to state that I have never used the term �overage� for Manoj Kumar as has been stated by the unnamed source quoted,� she stated.
�This kind of stories without proper verification of facts is tantamount to playing with my reputation,� she added.
Mary Kom is one of the two national observers appointed by the Sports Ministry for boxing, other being former CWG gold medallist Akhil Kumar. � PTI