2:13 am - Wednesday September 26, 2018

Suspended boxer Sarita Devi now says sorry

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NEW DELHI: Seeking to make herself eligible for participation in next month’s World Championships in Korea, Sarita Devi on Monday apologized to the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for her conduct during the Asian Games medal ceremony in Incheon last month.

The governing body for boxing had last week suspended the Manipuri boxer along with two coaches – GS Sandhu and IB Fernandes – apart from India’s chef-de-mission Adille Sumariwala in a response to Sarita’s refusal to accept her bronze medal on the podium.

“I sincerely apologise to you and AIBA for my conduct during the medal ceremony of the Incheon Asian Games,” Sarita Devi, who lost to South Korea’s Park Jina in the semifinals in the Asian Games, wrote in her reply to AIBA.

“I do accept that the incidents should not have happened and I deeply regret the incidents with a pledge that this will never happen again,” the former World and Asian champion wrote in her reply to AIBA’s notice. “Realizing my mistakes, I had immediately tendered an apology letter to Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the organizing committee of the Asian Games 2014 and accepted the bronze medal,” she said.

“In my 14-year long career, I had never been involved in any act of indiscipline or misconduct both in the national and international arena. I would like to plea to your good office to consider my case and pardon me for the incidents in Incheon Asian Games, 2014,” she added.

Sarita’s husband said that he was optimistic that the ban on her would be lifted. “While returning from Incheon, we had thought the matter was closed since the OCA had accepted our apology . We did not expect the whole incident to snowball into such a big issue,” said Thoiba, adding: “We are highly optimistic that the ban will be lifted and Sarita will get to represent the country in the World Championships.

“Sarita has been training and we are hoping after our reply, AIBA will lift the ban and Sarita will get another chance to prove herself in World Championships,” he added.

Meanwhile, the newly-elected Boxing India extended its support to the boxer and on its part appealed to AIBA to revoke the ban.”We have extended all support to Sarita in drafting the appeal. We stand by her. We have also appealed to AIBA that Sarita is a senior boxer and is not a habitual offender.Not just Sarita, we have also appealed for Sandhu. He was not even involved in the incident. He has been punished for no fault of his,” Boxing India’s president Sandeep Jajodia said.

‘AIBA has no right to ban me’

New Delhi: India’s Asian Games Chef-de-Mission Adille Sumariwala on Monday slammed the AIBA, saying that the boxing world body has gone beyond its ‘jurisdiction’. “Who is AIBA to suspend me? I have gone to Incheon as head of Indian contingent. I had done my duty to help out a boxer in my capacity as the head on my country’s contingent,” Sumariwala said.


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