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Sarita Devi banned for a year by AIBA

Sarita Devi banned for a year by AIBA
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Sarita, who had refused to accept the medal to protest her controversial semifinal bout loss, has been banned retrospectively from October 1, 2014 to October 1, 2015 and fined 1000 swiss francs.

Although her repeated apologies failed in getting her AIBA’s pardon, even this ban is quite a relief for the lightweight (60kg) boxer, who is currently nursing a broken right wrist.

“I am hugely relieved and would like to thank the boxing fraternity and Boxing India for helping me sail through the difficult times. I will now be able to participate in the Olympic Games and work harder to bring laurels for the country,” Sarita said in a statement after the announcement of AIBA’s decision.

“The ban period starts from the day of medal ceremony, October 1, 2014. It is a huge relief all the fears of her being banned for life or her career being over have not come true. She will be available to compete in 2016 World Championships, which are also Olympic qualifiers. She is out of action till February at least because of the wrist injury and after that she can make a comeback once the ban period is over,” Boxing India president Sandeep Jajodia said.

Also reprieved was national men’s coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu, who had been provisionally suspended along with two other coaches, for not doing enough to restrain Sarita. AIBA’s disciplinary committee found him not guilty of the charge. However, India’s Cuban coach Blas Iglesias Fernandes was not so lucky and was the worst hit by AIBA’s ire. The Cuban was banned for two years and fined 2000 swiss francs. His ban is also effective from October 1, 2014.

Wrote to AIBA to save Sarita’s career: Sachin

Retired batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar said the whole idea behind his writing a letter to world boxing body AIBA was to save woman boxer L Sarita Devi's career from ending abruptly after the Asian Games controversy in Incheon. “Our effort was to see that Sarita Devi's career was not jeopardised. She committed a small mistake,” said Tendulkar when asked to react to the news that AIBA had earlier on Wednesday imposed a one-year ban on the Manipuri boxer. AIBA imposed the ban, which as per earlier indications could have extended to life, for the boxer's refusal to accept her bronze medal at the Asian Games after she had lost controversially to a South Korean rival in the semifinals. Sarita has been banned retrospectively from October 1, 2014 to October 1, 2015.
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