Legendary Indian Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has come out in support of Indian woman boxer L Sarita Devi after AIBA banned her from participating in any International tournaments after she refused to accept the bronze medal in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Sachin Tendulkar came in support of Sarita and wrote to the sports ministry regarding this.
“As a fellow sportsperson, I can relate to the emotional turmoil which Ms. Devi must have undergone leading to the unfortunate outburst. Subsequently, she has regretted and deserves another chance to continue her pursuits. As you may be aware, she has already apologised for her unsportsmanlike behaviour. As a country, we should make every effort to ensure that Ms. Devi is pardoned and allowed to pursue her boxing skills at the highest level. Tendulkar requested Sonowal to consider forming a task force of senior officials from the Indian Olympic Association and the Boxing Federation and defend her case in front of the governing body, AIBA. With limited knowledge on the ongoing process, I would sincerely request to consider forming a task force of senior officials from the Indian Olympic Association, the Indian Boxing Federation backed with strong legal minds under your stewardship. The objective of this task force should be to deter any potential move by the Governing body to cause irreversible harm to Ms. Devi’s career by placing compelling arguments in her defence. This is critical as Ms. Devi belongs to a set of passionate sportspersons who have taken immense pride in representing the country and deserve all the support and backing from various stakeholders including Government of India,” he wrote.
Tendulkar urged the Sports Minister to take the necessary actions in a prompt manner. Four MPs named P Nagarajan, Prahlad Singh Patel, Bhola Singh and Kapil Moreshwar Patil asked whether the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is working towards her suspension to get overturned.
In his reply to the Parliament, Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal wrote,”Ms Sarita Devi has filed her reply to the notice of AIBA, provisonally suspending her. Secretary, Department of Sports had taken a meeting on 27th of October, 2014 in which representatives of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Boxing India and Sports Authority of India were present. Boxing India is helping the player and coaches, provisonally suspended in all respects to be it legally, psychologically etc. Government is always willing to consider suggestions to make the process more transparent.”