Sonowal pleads with AIBA to revoke Sarita's suspension

Sonowal pleads with AIBA to revoke Sarita's suspension

Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has pleaded with International Boxing Association (AIBA) president Ching Kuo Wu to revoke the provisional suspension of female boxer L. Sarita Devi, asking him to take a sympathetic view given her humble background.

"I would request you to consider the fact that Sarita Devi comes from a very humble background and has risen in her sport due to her hard work, perseverance and talent. Her suspension has had a demoralising effect on other aspiring sportspersons who would like to emulate her example and achieve sporting excellence," Sonowal said in the letter released Wednesday.

Sarita was provisionally suspended after she refused to accept her medal following a controversial semi-final loss in the Asian Games. The AIBA is yet to take a final call on the quantum of Sarita's punishment but Wu has already made it clear that her career is "as good as over" despite tendering an unconditional apology for her actions.

Citing the stern warning issued to Sarita by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Sonowal said she has been punished enough. The 29-year-old also missed the World Championships.

"Keeping in view all the factors and in the interest of promotion and development of boxing in India, I would urge you to take a very sympathetic view of the matter and take no further action against her beyond what has already been done by the OCA," he said.

Along with Sarita, three coaches, including national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu, were also provisionally suspended and AIBA is yet to decide on their fate.

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