Thursday, 2 October 2014

It’s Outrageous!





Sarita Devi's protest was unprecedented. She came to the podium but refused to accept the bronze medal. Was she right in doing so? Can she protest? Is the decision by the biased judges final and cannot be looked into? International sports administrators should look into it and not just shame or humiliate the victim. The sportspersons come to participate after lot of hard work and sacrifice; a biased decision could put an end to his or her career for no fault of theirs.


Indian boxer Sarita Devi was first cheated and then shamed in the current Asian Games boxing bout being held in Incheon, South Korea. The replay on the television shows that Sarita was in control and clearly leading the bout. She was denied a place in the final of 57-60 kg boxing event. Laishram Sarita Devi did the unthinkable. She stood on the podium but refused the bronze medal. She was protesting against the verdict of her semi-final bout against Park whom she dominated in all the four rounds. The Korean was declared the winner.

Instead of supporting the victim and taking action against the erring judges, Sarita Devi is being punished citing the rules and in the name of discipline. A similar incident happened with the Mongolian boxer who too fell victim to the biased judges, giving verdict in favour of the Korean boxer. This not acceptable when the sports administrators talk of sportsmanship and fair play. The countries should put their foot down and seek justice for their sportspersons.

The Oganising Committee said they were offended by the way Sarita protested, but did not say anything about the biased judges, which according to them is fair play and gospel truth!

At least an India woman boxer has stood her ground by openly protesting in the gaze of the world media, the biased decision and refusing to accept the bronze medal. It’s high time such incidents don’t happen again to any sportsperson and suppress their voice of protest in the name of discipline and that the judges decision cannot be challenged when the public and experts can openly see it at the venue and on television. It’s a rightful and correct claim.

India should stand firm behind Sarita Devi and see that justice is done to her, and not cowed down by world sports authorities and administrators who normally declare, the protest should be be made at the right forum and procedure followed. Nothing happens, as it is common knowledge that the victim is further put to shame and the administrators say you cannot change the judge’s decision. If sports is all about fairplay and sportsmanship, then suitable action should be taken against the judges. India should seriously pursue the matter and put an end to blatant biased umpiring or judges decision in favour of the host country in any international sports event.


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Picture Post:

Bihu dancers from Assam in India

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