TORONTO (AP) — Mandy Bujold would have most well-liked combating this battle within the ring.
As an alternative, the Tokyo Olympics destiny for Canada’s finest boxer lies within the arms of the Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport after her qualifying event was scrapped because of the pandemic.
Bujold and her lawyer, Sylvie Rodrigue, misplaced their attraction to the Worldwide Olympic Committee earlier this week, leaving CAS as her final likelihood to field in what could be her last Olympics.
“I had been hopeful (concerning the IOC’s resolution),” Bujold advised The Canadian Press on Wednesday. “However they didn’t even deal with the problems in our letter, which is actually unlucky, proper? You consider the Olympics and the rules of Olympism, you consider equity, you consider sportsmanship, you consider all this stuff that make the Olympics what they’re, and make me proud to be an Olympian and to get this response was actually powerful.”
After a aggressive yr erased by COVID-19, the 11-time nationwide flyweight champion had been assured she’d clinch a berth on the qualifying event this month in Buenos Aires. The occasion was lately canceled amid coronavirus instances in Argentina.
With no remaining worldwide competitions for boxers from the Americas, athletes have been chosen on a revised rating system utilizing three occasions between 2018 and 2019 — occasions Bujold didn’t compete in as a result of they conflicted along with her maternity depart. Bujold’s daughter Kate was born on Nov. 5, 2018.
Rodrigue calls Bujold’s state of affairs a human rights violation and discrimination case. Within the Olympic Boxing Job Drive’s revised rating system for Tokyo, “it’s like Mandy has by no means been ranked on the earth,” Rodrigue mentioned.
“What we are saying is the truth that they don’t accommodate pregnant or postpartum athletes by recognizing their rankings pre-pregnancy, they’re violating the rights of the athletes from a gender fairness and from a discrimination standpoint,” she mentioned.
The 33-year-old Bujold had deliberate to retire after the Tokyo Video games, and had already pushed again her departure for a yr after the Olympics have been postponed to 2021.
“I’ve been coaching for this chance, for this last second to form of shut this chapter of my profession, and no longer even with the ability to have that chance, that’s actually powerful,” she mentioned.
Each the Canadian Olympic Committee and Boxing Canada wrote letters in assist of her attraction to the IOC, Bujold mentioned.
The continental qualifiers have been initially scheduled for final March, however have been scrapped because of the pandemic. Including to the frustration, the European qualifying occasion remains to be occurring subsequent month in Paris. Bujold mentioned a European boxer with an equivalent story — she had a child and took maternity depart across the identical time — is only one struggle from punching her ticket to Tokyo.
Regardless of the CAS guidelines, there was by no means a doubt Bujold would pursue this battle to the tip.
“I take into consideration after I’m getting ready for a struggle within the ring, I ensure that I do all the things potential to provide myself the chance to win. And, that’s precisely what we’re doing proper now, in a unique sort of struggle,” she advised CP.
Bujold, a two-time Pan American Video games champion who was beforehand ranked No. 2 within the Americas, could be the primary Canadian lady to field in back-to-back Olympics. Her Rio Olympics led to heartbreak on account of sickness; hours earlier than her quarterfinal bout she was in hospital on an I.V.
Her objective was to shut her profession with a medal in Tokyo.
Now with all the things unsure, it’s not simple some days to go to the fitness center.
“On the finish of the day, I’m trusting Sylvie, I’m trusting her workforce to struggle for me,” she mentioned. “So, I have to be ready and do my half by staying prepared, and staying in form. So till there’s a last conclusion, on the finish of all of this, I want to only keep prepared.”
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