Boxing 'Rebel' Sarita Devi Apologises But May Miss World Championship

Boxing India has appealed to the Amateur International Boxing Association to be lenient on Sarita Devi, who dramatically refused to take her Asian Games bronze medal in Incheon.

Updated: October 27, 2014 18:33 IST
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Sarita Devi 7
File photo: Indian boxer Sarita Devi (center) weeps during the Asian Games medal ceremony.

© AP

New Delhi: 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 Asian Games, saying that she deeply regrets her outburst on the podium and would never repeat it.

Sarita's participation in the World Championships next month has been jeopardized due to the suspension imposed on her for refusing to accept the medal after a controversial semifinal loss in the Asian Games at Incheon.

"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.

"Realizing my mistakes, I had immediately tendered an apology letter to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Organizing Committee of the Asian Games 2014 and accepted the bronze medal," she said.

Sarita said her impeccable disciplinary record before the Asian Games furore should be taken into account when her fate is decided by the AIBA's disciplinary committee. (Sports Ministry Asks Boxing India to Take Charge of Sarita Devi Issue)

"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 boxing 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 the 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.

"I would like to mention that my husband was unaware of the presence of the AIBA technical delegate and perceived everyone present as Asian Games organisers," she said.

"I would like to state that my conduct during the medal ceremony was not premeditated and was an expression of deep emotional feeling, for which I sincerely apologise once again," she added.

"I hold myself responsible for my actions during the medal ceremony and I was not acting on anyone's instruction. My action did not prompt anyone else to act in a similar manner during the event. The coaches did not influence me in any manner," Sarita explained.

She requested the AIBA to lift the sanction imposed on her.

"I sincerely apologise once again for my conduct and request your good office to lift the sanction so that I can continue the game I live for and love most," she added.

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