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Boxing: Natasha Gale suspended over ‘conduct issue’

Natasha Gale in action.
Natasha Gale in action.
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European champion Natasha Gale has been ruled out of defending her title next month after being suspended from the GB Boxing squad over a “conduct issue” during last month’s Commonwealth Games.

The 30-year-old from Leeds, who won the title in Bulgaria two years ago, has not fought since she suffered a disappointing defeat to Australia’s Caitlin Parker in the women’s 75kg quarter-finals on the Gold Coast.

Natasha Gale.

Natasha Gale.

In a statement, GB Boxing said: “Natasha Gale has not been selected for the 2018 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships as she is currently suspended from the world-class performance programme following a disciplinary process into her conduct as a member of the GB Boxing squad.”

No specific time-frame has been given for the sanction, although GB Boxing performance director Rob McCracken indicated that he expects Gale to return to the programme.

McCracken said: “Natasha is suspended from the programme at the moment due to a conduct issue at the Commonwealth Games with the coaches and staff.

“She is not going to the European Championships and we will be sorting out what happens moving forward. She is currently suspended from the programme and has time to reflect.”

The disciplinary process arises from a general attitudinal issue, rather than a single specific incident during the Games.

Although Gale has not been directly replaced for the tournament in Sofia next month, GB Boxing have selected Gold Coast gold medallist Lauren Price to represent Wales in the same middleweight division.

The six-strong England team includes fellow Gold Coast gold medallists Lisa Whiteside and Sandy Ryan, and silver medallist Paige Murney.