“Very excited to announce that the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport was released this morning,” the 33-year-old from Kitchener, Ont., said on Twitter Wednesday.
“I am proud to say that my legal battle was won. The court ruled, the International Olympic Boxing Task Force’s qualification decisions must include an accommodation for women who were pregnant or post-partum during the qualification period.”
Now that the ruling has been given, according to Bujold’s lawyer Silvie Rodrigue, she will be headed to Tokyo although it remains to be seen how the IOC will accommodate her.
“So right now, Mandy’s continuing her training and we are in a waiting mode in a way,” the Toronto-based lawyer explained.
“The Canadian Olympic Committee is registering its athletes on Monday for Tokyo, it is the deadline to register the Team Canada, and Mandy will be on that list. So from our perspective, the next step is Tokyo.”
Bujold, who competed for Canada at the Rio Olympics, has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the world. After competing in Brazil, she planned to have a child with an eye toward preparing for the 2020 Games.
“I think when you’re a female athlete, that’s something you have to think about. You have to think about the four-year cycle. You have to think about, ‘OK, well, what events do I need to attend in order to qualify?’” she told Global News last month.
“And you have to kind of try to plan it as best as possible. So, yeah, that’s definitely what I did. I sat down with my husband and we looked at a schedule and said, ‘OK, this makes the most sense. So let’s try to do it in this time frame.’”
After giving birth to a daughter, those plans would ultimately be derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as it not only caused the postponement of the Games but also cancelled a qualifying tournament which was to be held last month in Argentina.
Forced to determine how athletes qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Games, the IOC chose to use previous events from 2019 and 2018, which left Bujold sidelined since those were the years in which she had her daughter and was preparing her body for the return to competition.
Bujold’s case drew support from numerous high-profile people, including former tennis star Billie Jean King and former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.
Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and Boxing Canada all appealed to the IOC on Bujold’s behalf.
–With files from the Canadian Press