Inside Lines: New ring row as gold Andrew Selby hope boxes himself into a corner

 

Just days after the uneasy truce between UK Sport and Britain’s amateur bodies, boxing has been hit by another major controversy, with GB star Andrew Selby likely to be ruled out of next year’s Commonwealth Games after signing a contract with the International Amateur Boxing Association to become part of their revolutionary AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) tournament.

It is a move which will dismay the Commonwealth Games Council for Wales, as Selby was the outstanding Welsh hope for a gold medal in any sport. The 24-year-old is ranked world No 1 after making history this month by becoming the first British boxer to successfully defend a European title. While the APB contract, which provides substantial prize money, allows Selby to compete at all major AIBA tournaments, including the Rio Olympics, there is no provision for his release for the Commonwealth Games. Should other GB stars, including England’s Olympic super-heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, decide to take the same route, it could denude the Games of Britain’s best boxers, a situation which concerns the Sports Minister, Hugh Robertson. He tells us: “I am not at all happy with this. It is important that the strongest possible British teams are represented in the Commonwealth Games which, like the Olympics, are of vital importance to the nation as a whole. I shall be watching the situation closely.” UK Sport say: “It is for the sport and the athlete to decide the best route for them to success at the Olympic Games in 2016, which is what our funding is provided for.” However, many will argue that participation in an event as significant as the Commonwealth Games is surely part of the World Class Performance Programme which financially supports Selby and other elite boxers.

That’s the spirit

There may have been a marked drop-off in sports participation since the Olympics, but not, apparently, for youngsters with disabilities. Among those helping to inspire them to get involved is the Paralympian swimming star Liz Johnson, official ambassador for the Panathlon, the multi-sport event for schoolkids whose London finals take place at the Westway Sports Centre on Wednesday. Tucked underneath the A40 flyover, it is a world away from the Olympic Aquatic Centre where Johnson, 27, won her 100m breaststroke bronze last year but she says: “The best thing about Panathlon is that it gives kids the opportunity to try competitive sports they might not otherwise get in their school environment. It makes sport accessible for these children.” The Olympics and Paralympics may be done and gold-dusted, but it is good to see that in this respect the spirit of 2012 lingers on.

Stunned by Donna’s death

Those of us who knew the lovely Donna Hartley when she was one of Britain’s golden girls of the track were shocked by her sudden death last week aged 58, apparently from heart failure. Her contemporaries had been equally stunned when, a few years after her retirement from athletics, pictures appeared of her flexing phenomenal muscles on the bodybuilding circuit, where she became a champion. There is no evidence to suggest the amazing transformation in her physique was due to anything more than diet and pumping iron, but equally there is no official drug-testing programme in bodybuilding. Like Florence Griffith-Joyner, whose shape and speed was always the subject of scepticism, and who passed away in her sleep at 38, such speculation dies with her. There is no doubt that the sport Donna graced will be well represented at her funeral on Wednesday.

a.hubbard@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager - North West

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager - South West

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Administrator - IT - Fixed Term, Part Time

£17340 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Come and join one of the UK's leading ca...

Recruitment Genius: Property Sales Consultant - Chinese Speaking - OTE £70,000

£18000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity for a Fluent Chines...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent