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

Sarita Devi will not be able to box in a competitive event for a while, after the AIBA banned the Indian for a year for her refusal to accept her bronze medal at the Asian Games in Incheon.

Boxing India had attempted to get her suspension overturned, with the boxer even receiving plenty of support, including Indian icon Sachin Tendulkar, but that has all come to nought with the International Boxing federation deciding to hand the boxer the heavy but far from career-ending ban.

Apart from the one-year ban, Sarita Devi has also been fined 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). India foreign boxing coach BI Fernandez has copped a longer ban, that of two years, for his involvement, but national coach GS Sandhu has been let off with his suspension lifted.

"The ban period starts from the day of medal ceremony, that is 1 October, 2014," said Boxing India president Sandeep Jajodia. "It is a huge relief that all the fears of her being banned for life or her career being over have not come true.

"She is now available to compete in the 2016 Women's World Championships, which are also the Olympic qualifiers.

"She is out of action till February at least because of a wrist injury and after that she can train like usual and make a comeback once the ban period is over."

Sarita Devi courted controversy by refusing to accept her bronze medal at the Asian Games medal ceremony as a sign of protest for what she thought was bias towards her South Korean opponent in the semifinals.

While she might have had a case – Sarita Devi was clearly the dominant boxer in the semifinals – AIBA did not take kindly to her decision to put on a protest in front of key officials and millions of fans, and have therefore decided to make their feelings known via the punishment.

Sarita Devi had accepted her bronze medal last week in hope of getting back on the good books of the AIBA, and even if the punishment was for a year, the boxer seemed happy with the decision as it gives her a chance to compete at the 2016 Olympic trials.

"I am hugely relieved and would like to thank the boxing fraternity and Boxing India for helping me sail through the difficult times," Sarita Devi said in a statement. "I will now be able to participate in the Olympic Games and work harder to bring laurels for the country."

Also read