By: ENS & PTI
A remorseful L Sarita Devi has pleaded with the International Boxing Association (AIBA) to lift the provisional suspension imposed on her for refusing to accept her bronze medal in the Asiad, saying that she deeply regrets her outburst on the podium and would never repeat it.
“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 has written in her reply to AIBA’s notice.
“Realising my mistakes, I had immediately tendered an apology letter to Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Organising Committee of the Asian Games 2014 and accepted the bronze medal,” she said.
Sarita said her impeccable disciplinary record before the Asiad furore should be taken into account when her fate is decided by the AIBA’s disciplinary committee.
“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. Being one of the pioneers of amateur women boxer in the world who participated in the first World Women Boxing Championship in the USA in 2001, 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 said.
Sarita also insisted that her actions on the podium were not planned and neither were they instigated by her husband or the three ringside coaches, who have also been suspended by AIBA.
Ministry dials BI
The sports ministry on Monday has asked Boxing India (BI) to chalk out a blueprint for the revocation of the the provisional ban imposed by the AIBA on pugilist L Sarita Devi and her coach GS Sandhu and help the duo submit their replies to the world body.
Sarita was provisionally suspended for refusing to accept her bronze medal in a controversial semifinal loss at Incheon last month. The suspension means she cannot participate in the World Championships from November 19 in Korea.
Apart from Sarita, her coach GS Sandhu has also been provisionally suspended from participating at all competitions till AIBA’s nod. “The sports secretary has asked BI to help prepare replies of Sarita Devi and the coach to present a collective stand before the AIBA by tonight. The sports secretary has also assured all help to Sarita and the coach to ensure the ban is revoked the earliest,” Sports Authority of India Executive Director (Teams) Sudhir Sethia said.
AIBA’s move had prompted officials from the sports ministry, IOA and BI to hold an emergency meeting in New Delhi on Monday. Mr Setia said Monday’s meeting was attended by sports secretary Ajit Sharan, IOA president N Ramachandran , secretary general Rajeev Mehta, AIBA representative (India) Kishen Narsi and BI president Sandeep Jajodia.
Asked if the sports ministry will approach the CAS in Lausanne if her ban is not revoked, Mr Setia said,”It is too premature to think about it. At the moment, our priority is to see the reply is filed to AIBA and the ban is revoked immediately.”