Sarita Devi Boxing
Sarita Devi (R) has a word with Park Ji-Na of South Korea during the medal ceremonyReuters

Indian boxer Sarita Devi apologised for her behaviour during the Asian Games medal ceremony, which led to the boxer being provisionally suspended by the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA).

Sarita Devi protested during the medal ceremony by refusing to take her bronze medal at what she thought was favouritism in the Incheon Asian Games, after she was denied a chance to fight in the gold medal match, with the officials favouring South Korean boxer Park Ji-Na in the semifinal, despite the Indian's obvious domination in the bout.

That led to the AIBA taking the matter seriously, and with it suspending the 29-year-old. The suspension, if kept intact, will prevent her from participating in the World Championships next month, and Sarita Devi has accepted her mistake and requested the AIBA to overturn her suspension.

"I do accept that the incidents should not have happened and I deeply regret the incidents with a pledge that this will never happen again," the boxer wrote in her apology letter quoted by PTI.

"Realising my mistakes, I had immediately tendered an apology letter to Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Organizing Committee of the Asian Games 2014 and accepted the bronze medal."

Sarita Devi believes her clean disciplinary record before the incident should be taken into consideration.

"In my 14-year long career, I had never been involved in any act of indiscipline or misconduct both in the national and international arena," she added.

"Being one of the pioneers of amateur women boxer in the world who participated in the first World Women Boxing Championship in the USA in 2001, I would like to plea to your good office to consider my case and pardon me for the incidents in Incheon Asian Games, 2014."

Many believed the protest, which took place after the controversial semifinal bout, was a planned one, which in turn worked against the boxer. However, Sarita Devi insisted the decision not to accept the bronze medal at the podium was one taken at the spur of the moment, and not influenced by anyone in the Indian camp.

"I would like to state that my conduct during the medal ceremony was not premeditated and was an expression of deep emotional feeling, for which I sincerely apologise once again," she said.

"I hold myself responsible for my actions during the medal ceremony and I was not acting on anyone's instruction. My action did not prompt anyone else to act in a similar manner during the event. The coaches did not influence me in any manner.

"I sincerely apologise once again for my conduct and request your good office to lift the sanction so that I can continue the game I live for and love most."

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