The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately
referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Arjun Ganguly, EMBA 2015-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
Sarita’s 1 year ban, following her refusal to accept the bronze medal at the medal ceremony of her semi final match at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Koria. She had done so in protest for what many think was a pretty blatant unfair result. Although she apologized later on, possibly realizing the possible repercussions of her conduct, the damage was already done. She was eventually handed a one-year ban by the world body. She was actually banned retrospectively from October 1, 2014 to October 1, 2015 and fined 1000 Swiss francs. She has served out her ban and has paid her fine too, so it’s only a matter of time before Sarita returns to the boxing ring.
This is certainly good news for India. She will make her return to the boxing ring in the World Championships next year, which are also the Olympic qualifiers. It is good news because she had been trained under top class trainers and physios during this period, who worked on her fitness.
Her story has a human touch too. “Manipur is such a troubled state. Despite that the people of Manipur stood by me,” she says. “People in my village got together and pooled in money to help me pay my fine to AIBA. I am grateful to them, and this motivates me to do better for my country.”
With no competitions or camps in India now, she is forced to train alone. With Sarita claiming to be a better boxer now, lets hope now she regains her form qualifies for the Olympics. The pressure although will be on her. With her rather gutsy protest and later on being banned for it, people may just expect her not just to gain the Olympics berth but also to go the distance and prove that the decision at the Asian Games was biased indeed, and that she is a much better boxer than that. I, for my part, am hoping just that.