Indian boxer, Sarita Devi refused bronze medal during the presentation ceremony at Incheon © Getty Images (File Photo)
Indian boxer, Sarita Devi refused bronze medal during the presentation ceremony at Incheon © Getty Images (File Photo)

Lausanne: Oct 3, 2014

Facing the prospect of a ban, Indian boxer L Sarita Devi today offered an “unconditional apology” for refusing to accept her bronze medal during the Asian Games presentation ceremony, the International Boxing Association has said.

In a statement issued here, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has said that the boxer has regretted her actions. “The Head of the Indian Mission at the Incheon Asian Games 2014 Mr Adille J Sumariwalla has forwarded to the President of the International Boxing Association Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, a letter of apology of Woman boxer Sarita Laishram Devi (57-60kg) who had refused to receive the bronze medal at the Award Ceremony for the 17th Asian Games. Mrs Devi expressed ‘an unconditional apology’ for her ’emotional outburst’ at the ceremony yesterday, writing that ‘I regret and apologise. Such an incident will never reoccur in the future’,” the AIBA said in a statement..

A disconsolate Sarita had refused to accept her bronze medal during the medal ceremony to protest her controversial semifinal loss to South Korean Jina Park. Sarita (60kg) had lost the bout despite dominating the proceedings.

AIBA had taken a strict view of her actions, saying that the “whole incident looked like a well planned scenario by her and her team, and it is regretful to watch a boxer refuse the medal regardless of what happened in the competition.” Her medal was reinstated yesterday after a hearing by the Olympic Council of Asia during which the Indian delegation expressed regrets over the incident.

AIBA said the India’s chef-de-mission at the Asian Games, Sumariwalla, has claimed that the incident was not planned. “The Head of the Indian Mission has furthermore asked the AIBA President to take into account this letter and the specific circumstances which led to such a ‘spontaneous knee jerk reaction’, which according to Mr Sumariwalla, was not ‘a planned effort’ of the Indian delegation,” the AIBA statement read.

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