Algerian boxer Imane Khelif was denied a 66kg final at the world championships in New Delhi on Sunday due to "not meeting the criteria" of eligibility, according to the International Federation of the Game.
Khalif was supposed to face off against China's Yang Lei in the final, but was surprised by the decision to disqualify her.
The Algerian Boxing Federation published the news of Khelif's exclusion on its Facebook account without elaborating on the reasons, saying, "The International Boxing Federation prevents Algerian boxer Imane Khelif from participating in the world championship for health reasons."
A dream #إيمان_خليف come true!?? Not gold 🥇, no. But the national 🇩🇿🌐 anthem outside the homeland.
And he adored all the heroes of Algeria 🇩🇿🌐❤️ pic.twitter.com/QWptvBQdyr
— khelifi mohamed (@khelifimes) March 25, 2023
"A female boxer from Algeria has disqualified Imane Khelif from the IBA World Boxing Championship for not meeting the eligibility criteria, and because of the elimination, Thai boxer Janjaem Suanafeng will play the final of the 66-kilogram category," the International Boxing Federation justified its decision to AFP.
"IPA upholds its rules and regulations as well as the personal and medical privacy of athletes, and therefore cannot disclose the 'details' of this breach of eligibility criteria."
🔸Due to the rise in male hormone, the International Boxing Federation eliminates Iman Khalif from playing the final of the world championship.
🔸The question is: why was this exclusion not made from the beginning of the session? Why in the final only?! !️🤔
🔸Here boxing talks bitterly about exclusion and its timing, which proves the conspiracy factor in the story. 👇 pic.twitter.com/6eGXzZyXik
— 🇩🇿 1.2.3 viva l'algerie (@vivalalgerie7) March 25, 2023
Khalif posted a video after the decision to disqualify her, in which she said, "Unfortunately, I learned yesterday that I cannot play the final, I am still proud of myself because I raised the flag of my country, this is a conspiracy for me, to say that I have qualities and abilities that do not qualify me to fight women is illogical."
"I am still proud to raise my country's flag high, this is a conspiracy, there are parties who conspired against Algeria so that the flag of our country does not fly high and we do not win the gold medal," she added.
"I had four fights without a problem, after all that they tell me this, I deeply regret this decision, it is a big conspiracy," she said.
Boxing "Iman Khalif" remains a champion in our eyes despite being eliminated by the International Federation and prevented from playing the final of the World Championships held in New Delhi for undiscovered health reasons over seven years of practice, in which she participated in the Moscow Olympics and four world championships in which she won the silver medal in its last edition pic.twitter.com/d3vCQ9M70z
— hafid derradji Hafid Draghi (@derradjihafid) March 25, 2023
Commenting on the issue, Algerian sports commentator Raouf Khelif tweeted, "Why haven't these health causes been discovered over the 7 years of playing (the game) in which I participated in the Moscow Olympics and 4 world championships that won the silver medal in their last edition?"
"The Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Algerian Olympic Committee should at least act to rehabilitate a champion who is not guilty if she has hormonal problems suffered by many Americans, Chinese and Russian women in boxing, weightlifting, judo and all combat sports," Khelif said.