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Sarita Devi Facing AIBA 'Life Ban' - We ask YOUR view - 'Is this Justice'?
by Michael O'Neill
November 13, 2014
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(NOV 13)  Outrage today in Indian boxing circles as news came through that the AIBA was considering a life ban following Sarita Devi’s refusal to accept the bronze medal she had ‘won’ when ‘defeated’ by the host nation’s Jina Park at the recent Asiad in Incheon, Korea.

We ask you, our readers, for YOUR view on the AIBA’s proposed ban. We ask you, our readers, for YOUR view on the AIBA’s proposed ban. You can contact us as usual by emailing wban100@aol.com  or via our Facebook pages.

If you have strong views on the subject, either way, you might also wish to make your views known to the AIBA : info@aiba.org

Here we bring you the overnight reaction from Indian media and Government sources on the comments from AIBA President Dr Ching Kuo-Wu in Jeju yesterday and subsequently in media interviews.

You will recall that the Eighth edition of the AIBA Women’s World Championships open in Jeju, South Korea on Sunday and these latest developments will not be welcomed by boxers, their coaches or indeed by the AIBA themselves as they seriously distract attention from the Worlds.

Various news agency reports quote Dr Wu thus:

"She will be heavily punished, there will be zero tolerance. It was totally unacceptable behaviour for any competition in any sport, I think her boxing career is finished. Every athlete should fully respect the decisions of referees and judges. So this boxer is facing very severe punishment. She has damaged her own country, India has been damaged,"

"If you accept being the winner, you have to accept being the loser. If everyone behaved like that, what type of competition will we have?" he added.

Those comments were echoed again when Dr Wu spoke with “The Times of India/AP”. As you may recall from our previous updates,

Sandeep Jajodia, President of recently formed AIBA affiliate, ‘Boxing India’, urged the AIBA to revoke Devi's provisional suspension, saying "It was purely an emotional reaction and not pre-planned."

"We don't deny that it was disrespectful toward the code of conduct for athletes but she tendered an unconditional apology," according to Jajodia.

AIBA President Wu clearly disagrees.

"I said to them, that (apology) doesn't matter, you need to think before you act," Wu told the AP. "She probably will be banned for some time because we want to consider the case that all the referees and judges' decisions need to be respected."

The Indian Government has condemned the AIBA’s actions.

Response to Dr Wu’s comments came ‘thick and fast’ :

DNA news agency spoke of the Government’s dismay at hearing Dr Wu’s comments with the country’s sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal saying that the government would continue to fight for her.

On Dr CK Wu's statement that 'Sarita's international career may be over', Sonowal termed it as "unfortunate" and "too harsh" on the athlete.

"I am really hurt and shocked by what AIBA president has said. Hearing his comment, I would like to say that the whole ministry is behind Sarita. I have instructed the Director General Sports Authority of India to take up the matter with the Boxing India at the earliest. We want Sarita to get justice. Our government will continue to fight for her and we ensure full support to the boxer," said Sonowal.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary general Rajeev Mehta went further and ‘has vowed to take the matter to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)’.

"Let the decision come. We (IOA) will certainly talk to sports ministry first before challenging the verdict in CAS," Mehta told dna on Wednesday.

Sonowal said that the AIBA should have accepted the written apology of Sarita as her emotional outburst at the podium was not pre-planned.

"Sarita has already given a written apology to the AIBA and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has already accepted it. The AIBA should also let her off and forgive her. This written apology is sufficient. Her outburst was not pre-planned and I think the AIBA's decision is too harsh," he said.

And so the anger in India grows….

Should Sarita Devi be suspended for life for her actions in Incheon? What do you think?  We ask you, our readers, for YOUR view on the AIBA’s proposed ban. You can contact us as usual by emailing wban100@aol.com  or via our Facebook pages.

 

 
     
     
   
 
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