Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal instructed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to take up L Sarita Devi’s suspension at the international forum and push for withdrawing the ban imposed on the Indian woman boxer.
“We have already instructed the Indian Olympic Association to take up the matter with the international forum for withdrawal of suspension on Sarita Devi,” Sonowal said.
“We are asking the IOA to take up the matter for a genuine cause of a player. So, it is very important for the country and we will have to stand by our decision,” he added.
Sonowal’s reaction came after the International Boxing Association (AIBA), took strong action and provisionally suspended Sarita Devi for refusing to accept the bronze medal at the Asian Games in Incheon.
Protesting against a controversial verdict, Sarita, in an unprecedented move, had refused to wear the medal around her neck as she broke down on the podium during the award ceremony for the 57-60 kg category.
The 29-year-old boxer accepted the medal in her hand and wiped her tears holding it, before handing it to South Korean silver medalist Ji-Na Park, who had defeated Sarita after what seemed to be a “bad” referee decision.
Even though the AIBA had taken note of her written apology, the international body surprisingly decided to suspend the boxer and the national coaches from taking part in AIBA tournaments till further notice.