Sarita Devi Ban: Suspending Chef-de-Mission Was Insult to India, Says IOA Secretary

The International Boxing Federation on Tuesday, had suspended Sarita Devi, her coaches and India's Chef-de-Mission as the boxer had refused to accept her bronze medal in the Asian Games.

Updated: October 24, 2014 09:14 IST
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Sarita Devi Bronze medal podium
The Chef-de-Mission, alongwith Sarita Devi and her coaches were suspended for an indefinite period for refusing a bronze medal in Asian Games.

© AP

Slamming AIBA's decision to not only hand provisional suspension to boxer Sarita Devi but also India's Asian Games chef-de-mission Adille J. Sumariwalla, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said on Friday that the move is an insult to the nation.

"Handing provisional suspension on chef-de-mission was an insult to the country and to IOA and the AIBA has no jurisdiction and right to pass strictures on Adille Sumariwala," Mehta told PTI. (India hope to get Sarita Devi's ban reversed)

"The IOA is writing a protest letter to the OCA and the IOC in this regard. We will say that what the AIBA has done (suspension of chef-de-mission) was totally wrong," he added.

Taking strict action, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) provisionally suspended Sarita Devi for refusing to accept the bronze medal at the Asian Games podium ceremony. But Mehta said that the move is unjustified after the Manipuri boxer had apologised for the act.

"Regarding the provisional suspension of Sarita Devi, she has nothing to do after she had apologised to the OCA and the AIBA during the Incheon Asian Games. The OCA had accepted the apology from Sarita and what more she can do now. We will request the OCA to intervene into this and lift Sarita's suspension," he said.

Mehta also said that the Sarita issue would not have been such a big one had there been a manager for boxing in Incheon and blamed the sports ministry for this.

"Had there been a manager, then he would have tackled the issue immediately at the spot and the matter would not have such a big issue. The refusal by the government, on the insistence of some officials, to send managers in the Asian Games this time have led to a very difficult situation which the IOA had not faced earlier.

We have apprised the sports minister that such an interference was against the autonomy granted to the NSFs and the IOA under the Olympic Charter. We will no longer tolerate this kind of interference anymore," he said.

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