Glasgow 2014: Boxer Ashley Brace 'let down' over Games ruling

Ashley Brace says she has never kick boxed professionally

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A Welsh boxer refused a Commonwealth Games place over her involvement in kick boxing says she is disappointed in the sport's authorities.

Ashley Brace, 23, from Ebbw Vale, was banned from Glasgow 2014 by the International Boxing Association who said she had kick boxed professionally.

Ms Brace said she feels let down by the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association (WABA) for not checking her eligibility.

The association said it could not check all its 1,800 members met new rules.

Start Quote

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and perhaps checks should be made but we don't have the resources”

End Quote David Francis, chairman, Welsh Amateur Boxing Association

Ms Brace was a kick boxer for nine years before she started boxing as a teenager.

She has boxed for Wales this year, but was devastated after finding out earlier this month she had been deemed ineligible to compete at the Commonwealth Games.

The WABA told her last week she had broken the rules as she had fought professionally as a kick boxer. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) said she should have applied to them to decide if she was eligible to box for Wales, but as there had been no application they had deemed her ineligible by default.

But Ms Brace denied she ever fought professionally in kick boxing and feels let down by Wales' boxing body.

'New rule'
Ashley Brace The decision has been "devastatin" says the boxer

She said: "It just seems like it's gone from one thing to another and everyone's blaming everyone and no-one's coming up with the real reason as to why I'm not in.

"I just don't understand. My job was to box, to train hard. I done that and why couldn't they have done their job?

"It's not just me, it's my family as well.

"This official letter says I was a pro-kick boxer. I'm not a pro-kick boxer. Never was. I don't understand how I'm getting consequences for being a kick boxer.

"It's devastating and emotional - it's being on a long rollercoaster but it's never ending."

Ms Brace's father Shaun said: "Ashley started AIBA-level boxing in January. Why, now, are things being questioned?

"I never in my whole life have experienced anything as emotional as this rollercoaster in the last three weeks defending my daughter.

"She's done everything she could. She's never hid that she was a kick boxer."

'Upset'

David Francis, chairman of WABA, said: "Every boxer signs a declaration form to say they've not boxed professionally.

"A new rule came in on 23 August 2013 and we didn't realise, but we cannot check our some 1,800 members.

"Hindsight is a wonderful thing and perhaps checks should be made but we don't have the resources."

He said the international association said she had competed as a professional kick boxer and had screen shots of her Facebook page showing that.

He added: "We are really upset about it - we wanted Ashley to compete but there's nothing we could do about it."

An AIBA spokesman said: "Ashley Brace had previously participated in the AIBA Women's World Championships in Barbados in 2010. However, she subsequently decided to compete in professional kickboxing from 2011 until 2013. She has also listed all of the kick boxing competitions she has competed in on her Facebook profile."

Ashley Brace Brace had been part of the 10-strong Wales boxing squad - due to compete in the 51kg category

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