New Delhi: Within hours after the news broke on Wednesday that boxer Sarita Devi was handed a one-year ban by International Boxing Federation (AIBA) for refusing to accept her bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games, Indian government backed the boxer by writing to AIBA to revoke the ban.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, said the government was pursuing the issue. "From our side, we have been pursuing that matter before international forum. I have written to the President of AIBA to revoke the suspension order," Sonowal told reporters outside the Parliament.
Earlier in the day, national coach G S Sandhu was exonerated, while foreign coach BI Fernandez and Devi's personal coach received two and one year bans respectively.
Sarita's husband Thoiba had also been handed a two-year ban.
Boxer Sarita Devi on last Wednesday had finally received her Asian Games bronze medal which she had refused at the victory ceremony in Incheon under controversial circumstances with the Indian Olympic Association Secretary General Rajeev Mehta presenting it to her.
Mehta had presented the medal to the Manipuri boxer at the IOA Headquarters.
"L Sarita Devi, bronze medal winner in boxing 60kg weight category in 17th Asian Games 2014 held in Incheon, Korea received her medal in New Delhi. The Secretary General, Indian Olympic Association Rajeev Mehta handed over the medal to her in the office of the IOA in New Delhi," the IOA had said in a statement.
Sarita was provisionally suspended by the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) after she refused to accept her medal following a controversial semifinal loss in the Asian Games.
AIBA president CK Wu, had earlier stated that there would be severe punishment for Sarita Devi who had refused to accept her medal in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Wu has refused to accept Sarita Devi's apology and pointed out her behaviour as unacceptable.
With Agency inputs