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Press Release – India Boxing Federation exposed; L Sarita Devi to return Arjuna Award


Press Conference


It is indeed very shocking to inform you that few corrupt officials for their selfish interest had rendered the Indian Boxing Federation into a matter of controversy. This is an ugly trend that must be addressed adequately at the earliest so as to prevent the sports loving persons and players from becoming disillusionment about the Indian sports.

In fact, despite my wholehearted dedication and contribution to the Indian boxing, bypassing my good performance and professionalism in this profession, injustice has been done to me by the selfish clique in the Indian Boxing Federation whose ambition is to tarnish the image of the Federation. This is being evident in the repeated trial processes where they have conspired against me.

The selection trial for the Indian women boxing team to take part in the upcoming Asian Games in China was held at Bhopal for two days on 20 and 21 August, 2010. Accordingly the selection committee had announced the selected names in which I was included in the 51kg category for my good performance with two other women players in the 60 and 75 kg categories. It was published in the newspaper Hindustan (Hindi) on 10 September 2010.

But unfortunately the Indian Boxing Federation tried to keep the matter as confidential and delayed a widespread announcement. Surprisingly the Federation decided to hold the trial again without giving any specific reason. The retrial was fixed for 22nd September 2010. Accordingly I took part in the trial that was held yesterday at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. Media persons and friend and supporters were restricted from watching the trial. Despite my good performance in the trial my name has been omitted deliberately – by the Indian boxing federation. This is an injustice.

I would like to inform to you all that the Indian Boxing Federation may not be converted into a den of conspirators and corruption by few selfish officials. I, therefore demanded that;

  • I should be allowed for a retrial in front of the media within a week from now.
  • The Indian Boxing Federation general secretary Col. Murlidharan Raja must apologize for indulging in favoritism in the selection process which is against the ethics of sportsmanship. He must resign on moral and disciplinary ground.
  • The Sports Minister of India must intervene into the matter immediately and solve the issue.


Until and unless these demands are being fulfilled I will not play for India and I shall also return the Arjuna Award that was awarded to me in 2009.

Please Attend

Press Conference tomorrow, 24 September 2010, 4.pm

At Manipur Information Centre, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Near CP, New Delhi

L. Sarita Devi

Former World Champion

Arjuna Awardee

Current Asian Champion

+91 98 91 61 9569 


  1. What is happening in the relations between Sarita and Mary, who grew up learning boxing together because of this silly incidents. I hope both are professional enough to take things not personally. As for Sarita-trials was held earlier and then she was announced as selected for Asiad. Then all of a sudden, trial was held again and said’ no you are not selected’. No sportsperson or human being will be happy with this. She is right in asking to the Federation, because the question of favouritism did arise in the case. When the matter was blown after Sarita threatens to quit boxing, Federation put them as reserve boxer since everyone know that only one boxer will represent and there is no need for the extra-reserve boxer. So, everywhere there has been unfair play. Had it not been Mary, another Manipur puglist, we would have been more active in taking up the matter. We dont want to support a boxer in such a way that lead to cost the other. Nowhere Mary cant be blame for this, if someone is to be blame, then it is the Federation. Nonetheless, I think there can a trial again. If trial has been held twice, which lead to the controvercy, why not the third one. Let the better boxer go.

  2. Dear LAKPA,
    It’s all a waste for both of us to hang on in this page because it’s never gonna bringforth a productive solution. The reason why I write back is ‘cause I don’t want you to insult or accuse others.
    “KUKILAND started with the dream of NAGALIM” ??? You may help me make it sense something?
    I don’t easily believe on something unless I have enough reasons to. You may underestimate my knowledge but I say out with conviction. Not out of a mere knowing.
    My friend, you have made another lack of understanding. You may go back to my previous comment. Even laymen know that boxing is a weight category based event. I guess I’ve never gone astray from it. I would have appreciated you correcting me as my rabbi but you missed.
    I have undergone and witnessed several trial selections in Manipur but most of the incidents sucks. Here comes your “sporting excellence from the hills is somewhat rare.” I never encourage my juniors to play unless they can prove to be like a legend. It was not an accusation to you for you being a meitei but to the existing scenario in general.
    You may claim so much of. I don’t have to claim much. I am a man with low profile and status. Not well educated as you are. I am neither a “multi media Whizkid.” If I to be sincere, I don’t even know what it means. LOL… Poor me. It was my good/bad luck, I’ve seen the video clips of those twin trails and there lies my conviction. I don’t have the right to upload them to internet for any cost but you have every right to ask the Federation to get you the glimpse of it. To my surprise, I saw Maipuris and PTI staff in the clips, which were in contrary to the claim made by Sarita in her press conferences.
    “Mary’s name did not even feature at Bhopal trial and u got a video clip.” I wonder where from is your trustworthy source.
    I am neither against Sarita. I agree with your all about wanting to be FAIR. At the same time, I am afraid if we be taken away by MADE-UP sources. So please make sure you get the clips. I don’t want our people be the deceived ones…

    • Well, better to put full stop in the ongoing arguments/discussion between George and Lakpa. It’s going from Boxing to useless topic of regionalism.

      As far as Mary and Sarita are concerned, I think, it’s best to leave the issue to people who know the best say IBF with full moral support to both the daughters of Manipur. Let the CM Ibobi and Mr. Gill make sure that there had been no favortism in the selection procedure.

      See, Sarita is also very good boxer and of course technically at par with any world champions. However, she should learn to accept the final decisions of judges and refrees. The show must go on. One easy example is that the PIN UP boy Vijender Singh lost the fight to Mr. Ogogo of England. Ogogo could not lend a punch to Vijender while Vijender managed to score four times. The real score was 4-0 but Vijender committed foul play by holding opponent and punching on the back of the head of Ogogo. So, finally, Ogogo was declared winner not because of the points earned by punching opponent but by taking punh. The whole Indian team protested. Coach, officials, player himself protested. But, finally, rule is rule. Vijender had to accept that.

      So, dear Sarita, I really love you to represent India in future also. But, I would love you to be more patient as far as results are concerned. Fight sincerely. A time will come, nobody can ever stop you.

      You have the right to protest but not within the limit of rules and law.

      Best wishes from all the people of Manipur.

    • Mr Goerge,
      I think Mary was there in Bhopal trial.see her comments…

      ”Trial selection was happened in Bhopal earlier. Why it happened again that I do not know. It was federation’s decision,” Mary Kom said.

      ”In Bhopal … how it happened … I mean trails happened in a bizarre manner. I was not satisfied with the trials. There was no computer scoring, no proper referees, judges were sitting along only one side of the ring. This way you cannot judge who is better among all.

      ”But in Delhi, they had judges in all the four corners to count individual scoring. So i think it was better. May be this was not fair for her (Sarita), I can not say anything in that,” she explained.

      Asked if she is ready for the retrial as Sarita has demanded, Mary Kom plainly said she would prefer leaving the spot for others than undergoing another trial.

      ”It’s not a joke to go through a trial process again and again. If trails happen again then I will not take part in it. I will leave my place.” Both, Mary Kom and Sarita, competes in the same 51kg category and have been dreaming of representing the country in 2012 Olympics, which included the women boxing for the first time.

      When she was asked who will go to the Olympics, Mary, mother of two children, praised her competitor but left the final decision with the Federation.

      ”Federation will decide who is the best. I am good, Sarita is also good but both cannot be sent (to represent India). So one has to go.”

  3. I too didn’t want to waste my time with all these…
    But some of our fellows were so narrow-minded and one-sided too. We should not abuse our FREEDOM OF SPEECH. There were some comments which were beyond what it should be. We are now in the world where we should hold on WIN WIN theory,the only wise option. Don not insult others for another.
    Let’s lift both Sarita and Mary. They are after all the daughters and stars of our motherland. Let us come out of our narrow cocoons. The world is not that small as…

  4. It is very unfortunate that all have wasted a precious time on useless subject. Some comentators went out of the track and not in line with the subject. We have created a situation where things are not connected.

  5. “At this moment Mary scores over Sarita in the book with the just concluded World Championship’s performance. Were it gold for Sarita, it would have been different story at all. ”

    So, In India, one bad day in sports then you are out. Sarita was knocked out 8-11 by Yazici in the World Championship, so thus she is scrapped from her original selection for Asian Squads. No consideration that she is four time and reigning Asian Champion. Huh! Isnt it amazing. Where is the professionalism here?

    Lets not forget the fact that Mary competes in 46 and 48 kg class. 51 kg class is altogether a different class with different set of boxers. A person cant always be a champion in all the category, despite all the athletes wants to participate in Asian Games. In my opinion there should be a free and fair trial. Sarita is demanding not for ‘including her name’ but another round of trial ‘in front of media and public’.

    What Mary or Sarita has achieved in the past, should not have come as a measure for favoratism during the trial selection, if there was any. The best boxer during the trial should be selected and thats was the sports is all about.

    Well both Mary and Sarita are the proud daughters of Manipur. We want both of them success. It is just that when one lady clime the ladder of success and another lady dropping out to the level of quitting the game is extremely disappointing. Manipur cant keep on producing them. Such personality dont come frequently, they are one in a million. We should not let them go away easily.

  6. It is as simple as that had it not been Mary it could have been Sarita. The sad story is that two great boxers had to fight for the only slot in the same weight category. At this moment Mary scores over Sarita in the book with the just concluded World Championship’s performance. Were it gold for Sarita, it would have been different story at all. Never mind. If today is not her day, she should work harder with a clear conscience that she is a better, bigger fighter than any other else and her big day is coming soon provided she has the never die attitude, determination and agrees to rewrite her one. I am sure she is going to rewrite this story. I am so sure that representing one’s country in the international arena of such extravaganza and magnitude such as Asian Games, Olympics, would be the biggest dream realized for anyone. But the fact is that if one fails to represent for whatever reason in one occasion, one can always come back with bigger determination, perseverance and then Fame, money, rewards, everything will chase after you. I am pretty much sure that a stature of Sarita is not chasing after fame, money and rewards.
    Representing an adopted country is not the only and the best option if one asks me. She should not at this point of time think of giving up her boxing career because it could be that the acme of her career is yet to be reached.
    Anyway I am NOT the one who can call the judgment on her, I am just one of her fans who always want to see her to deliver the best, rise again from abysmal and reign again. The whole world of “intellectual and magi” be with you.

  7. I endorse the above view. If Sarita play for other countries, it is not that she favor another country over India, but it is the situation that makes her to take the decision. The cost of not selecting in the trial can prove a far greater opportunity in her life. Disappointment happen in life but that does not make anybody loser. Make an enquiry to the Embassy and start the process of application. We are with you dear Sister.

  8. She should first have to announce quiting representing India. For that she has to still wait for the one week time given to the Federation to reconsider the re-trial. The outcome is almost certain that Federation will not likely to revoke the decision. In such circumstances, it remain more advantageous for her to annouce quitting representing India. If she wants to still continue playing for India, its almost equivalent to losing the prime time of her career and grand opportunity of participating in Asian Games and probably Olympic Games. Now, as she has already raised her voice, she probably will not get along well with the Indian Federation in the later years too.

    During this week time, she should approach the Embassy of any country in Delhi. Which country is best remain her choice. I am sure after seeing her bio-data and personal profile, any country will like to adopt her into their Asian games contigent. She will give a golden opportunity to that country. The concerned embassy will advise her the necessary steps to be done and it still can be a lengthy process. The country like Taiwan and other South East Asian countries gives the highest respect and reward for the sportsperson. They maintained decipline and they are extremely professional countries. If this first choice is not available, she can approach other less known countries.

    • but manipur’s knowledge-starved and logistically poor sports organizations, coaches, managers, etc., don’t know much about what you (james) is saying.
      a manipuri footballer only can kick the foot ball because he plays the sport, but knows not a single thing beyond that.
      firstly, education is the key. next is development of their conversation skill – a tactical one and obviously in english. what else? yes, politics. it’s unofficial, but we have to accept the realities of life. accept politics as a part of the game. what leveraging factors do manipuri players have? dwell upon it and expoit those who once exploited us.
      the rule book says – in sports you only need to defeat everyone and RULE.
      our sports journalism should develop its own skill to lobby for manipur instead of being a plain defeatist.


  9. Yes, a trial before the public and the Media would be the best. And we all like to see the best boxer. All the best to both indomitable women – stars of Manipur.

  10. As a person belonging to Manipur, if either Mary or Sarita represent in Asian Games, it is still a proud moment for us. However, we are not able to celebrate the success of Mary since another daughter of Manipur Sarita threatens to quit boxing and return Arjuna award. We just cant be as happy as we should be. As the issue has been raised by Sarita about the favoritism and lack of professionalism, the matter needs to be looked into to understand whether the complaint is genuine or not. Raja claimed that Sarita has been defeated both in Bhopal and Talkatora Stadium. Then why is it so that it the selection of Sarita for the Asian Games was announced earlier, if indeed she was defeated there. Raja also claims that Sarita got barely hold against Mary. No doubt Mary is the one of the best boxer ever seen in the world in 48 kg class, but Sarita also hold the Asian records and was former World Champion. I would not believe that Mary could easily defeated Sarita. Infact Mary herself told that her fought with Sarita is more tough and challenging than recently held World Championship. Then how come Raja said that Sarita could barely hold against Mary? And why not accepted Saritas demand that the trial be held again in front of Media? Afterall we all like to see the best boxer represent India.

  11. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/boxing/Sarita-threatens-to-return-Arjuna-Award-quit-boxing/articleshow/6621791.cms

    IBF General Secretary Muralidharan Raja dismissed any talk of favouritism in the selection for the Asian Games, saying that “what would I get if either Sarita or Mary Kom is selected”.

    “I was not in Bhopal but Sarita was beaten in both the trials – in Bhopal and at Talkatora Stadium. There was no politics involved,” he said.

    “The trials at Bhopal was inconclusive and for the sake of fairness we did another trial at Talkatora after Barbados world championships. All the selection panel was there at Talkatora and they felt Mary was much better. Sarita could barely hold herself against Mary,” he added.

    Raja wondered why Sarita raised the issue now as she and Mary Kom knew that the Asian Games trials would be held after the world championships at Barbados.

      • Well if Sarita was beaten at Bhopal, then why not the boxer who beat Sarita at Bhopal was declared selected for the upcoming Asian Games. Who beat Sarita at Bhopal Trial? Does IBF General Secretary Muralidharan Raja know that Mary Kom’s name did not even feature at the Bhopal Trial? Why was the result kept confidential? This kind of mayang attitude has brought shame to the country. Look at the CWG mess.

        Again IBF officials said Bhopal trial was inconclusive, in Boxing if a bout ends in a tie than another round is added. It would have been conclusive that way at Bhopal.

        The whole thing is about accommodating Mary Kom whose weight category has no event at the Asian and Olympic games. In all the previous World Championships that Mary Kom has won, she represented 46 Kg category except the recent one at Barbados.

        Mary Kom herself has told the media that she is taking dietary supplements to put on weight. No doubt, Mary Kom is a grand champion in her own category. But problem arises when another champion Boxer is sacrificed for some other boxer whose weight category is different and does not exist at the Asiad. Well, BIG NAMES are the ones who seem to matter in India.

        The transition from 46 Kg to 51Kg remains to be seen (46Kg to 48Kg category is Marginal). Let’s hope Mary Kom with her short height and increased body weight performs well at thte Asiad.

        Sadly both Sarita and Mary Kom happen to be from Manipur.

        • Absolutely agree bro! Now the question is ‘Is India ready to sacrifice Sarita for the sake of promoting Mary?’ I also dont know whether an underweight boxer is allowed to compete in the specific weight category before attaining that specific weight. (Is it favouratism). Mary won 4 golds in 46 kg and 1 gold in 48 kg. When she foughts 48 kg class, she was fighting with almost the same boxers which she faced in 46 kg earlier. How she performs in 51 kg, with altogether different boxers is yet to be seen. If indeed there was a favoratism by the Boxing Federation as alleged by Sarita, then it absolutely needs a re-trial. Then the defeated boxer can gracefully accept the result. Otherwise, players will lose confidence in the system.

        • My friend, I like it when you dropped a line “MAYANG ATTITUDE” in your comment. We are now at the prime time to bring the same to our case; Our “MEITEI ATTITUDE”. Have we ever asked ourselves the sole reason behind these entire crisis, it may be NAGALIM or KUKILAND whatsoever?

          Let me come down along with your above posted …comment. Sometimes our less knowledge opens a door to greater misunderstanding. This is what I am afraid of. Anybody can play in any weight category if he/she wants to but should be qualified… Sarita was never SACRIFICED for Mary and that cannot be, that will never happen. Have you ever checked it out in which category Sarita was Asian Champion? I guess 56, 54 and 52kg. And for your information, sarita is now playing in 51kg category. It would have been easier and better for Sarita to increase just 2kgs instead, then to come down to 5kgs then, i would have accepted Sarita a Good Boxer. I don’t know what is the intrigue behind sarita’s weight coming down to 51kg. It’s embarrassing too. I understand it as; it kills her(Sarita) when Mary flourishes in her boxing career. Did Mary do something illegal or wrong by increasing her weight to 2-3kgs? i would rather appreciate it if i were in your place.
          “Let’s hope Mary Kom with her short height and increased body weight performs well at the Asiad.”
          What message do you want to convey here? i find it as a childish comment. This is an insult. Who are we to judge on somebody’s features? For your information, Boxing is not a game like wrestling/MUKNA where your Physical features, height and strength sense a lot but here in boxing it’s a matter of Punching; how swift you are and your tactics. Not the traditional theories.
          Have you ever come across the video clip of the Trial Bout between Mary and Sarita of both at Bopal and Talkatora? You should. That will console your sorry heart. That will be the best judgment and you have to swallow back your words. It is sometimes a waste to write too many, being the third person your inspiration and source of information.
          A sincere apology if ever my words offended you all…

          • My dear friend, the idea of KUKILAND started with the dream of NAGALIM.

            Mr. George, with your in-depth knowledge of the entire issue, you have miserably failed to realize that Mary Kom’s name did not even feature at the Bhopal trial. The so called Bhopal trial was never announced and kept confidential but news leaked at the Hindi edition of Hindustan times.

            It is crystal clear that the second trial at Talkatora stadium was design to accomodate Mary Kom. The manner in which the trial was conducted in seclusion shows itself.

            “Boxing is not a game like wrestling/MUKNA where your Physical features, height and strength sense a lot but here in boxing it’s a matter of Punching”

            Mr. George educate yourself with the rules of boxing, wrestling….Boxing, Wrestling are all weight category based events. Going by your way, the rules of the game have to be change.

            How will a pint 46 kg boxer fight another 90 kg boxer? One can see that in Hong Kong movies but that’s not boxing at Asiad or Olympics.

            Going by your views, oscar de la hoya would have fought Lennox Lewis. Amir Khan would have fought Vladamir Klitschov.

            Friend, boxing is not a game of Sling shot/NAORI KAPPI.

            This is not about Showering your emotion, its about being fair. I understand sporting excellence from the hills is somewhat rare. Please dont accused me of Meitei Attitude or else show me how to refer.

            “Have you ever come across the video clip of the Trial Bout between Mary and Sarita of both at Bopal and Talkatora?”

            Well, Lies White Lies driven by emotion. Mary’s name did not even feature at Bhopal trial and u got a video clip. U got to be some multi media Whizkid.

            If ever u got any clip than, its got to be the one at Talkatora. Why not upload it over the internet?

            I am not against Mary, It about being FAIR and true to oneself and upholding SPORTING SPIRIT…

  12. Dear Sarita,
    I fully sympathize with you. But one thing is in my mind that is in this junction whole Nation is in celebratory mode for Mary com’s successes. I also agree you must be doing batter than Mary com in the trial. But you fail to produced medal from the latest conclude world champion. So, by simple logic is that IBF must be having difficulty to drop Mary (whom proven recently in the eye of the world) from the group despite of your good performance in the trial. But trail is trail.
    I know you are right for every thing but fighting with politics by Boxing experience may be bite difficult. Ironically both of you are from Manipur. No where every thing is doing right thing al the time.
    Never forget, by representing a Nation, Nation make you great and you make Nation Great. Both can’t separate. If you go to other Nation, God only knows that how well other Nation will treat you (if you are extraordinary that is deferent mater) as you have suffered by the hand of your won people. What about other stranger people?

    • I fully agree with Mr. Todon. ….
      Never regret for the things happened to you, rather get ready for the coming days … We all are with you, our NATION needs you …; you also will be in need of our nation.

      • The irony is that both the boxers happen to be from Manipur and we would love to see both of them representing the Asian Games. Mary Kom is considered a legend in Women Boxing and given a nickname Magnificent Mary. She is undoubtedly the world champion in 46 kg and 48 kg category. She is yet to proved in 51 kg class. Although, Sarita is not in par with the achievement of Mary, but she is not a lesser boxer. She is also a former world champion and reinging Asian Champion. The boxer whom she fought and losed, Sumerya Yazici of Turkey is considered as the most experienced boxer and a leading gold contender for London Olympics along with three boxers including Sarita. Both the best boxers in India happen to be from Manipur and the name Mary Kom, ambassador for CWG is too big for the Federation to drop from the list. However, I would love to see both of them participating in Asian and Olympics. Why should she or anyone compromise his/her talent and professional career. I fully support her to participate for any other country. If Mary wins by representing India or Sarita wins by representing any other country, we the people of Manipur will still cherissed.

  13. I fully sympathize with you. I guess there is a broader option available. In case the Federation stands by its decision and if you missed your opportunity of representing India, then that should not amount to hampering your glistering career as a boxer. Participating in Asian Games and Olympic games remain the greatest dream of any athletes. If the option is available like representing some other country, you should graped that opportunity and we, the people of Manipur will still be proud for your participating and your winning.

  14. Dear Sarita,

    I understand your disappointment regarding not so transperant selectin procedure. But please be patient while expressing ur feeling. SOmetimes, it may be possible that you are not doing any good for yourself by fighting against the systems. I am saying that u are wrong. Just let you know that we love u and care for ur future. Politics and adnistration is not Boxing fight where everyone can see who beat whom? It’s a complex systems and u need prudent study before putting up a tough fight.

    Well, we sympathise you–u r also a gem.

  15. While the people of this country particularly the region having jubilation at Mary Kom’s victory in the world boxing championship, it is sad to hear the injustice meted out to L Sarita Devi, another renowned International Woman boxer of our country. Mary Kom and Sarita hail from Manipur state, a tiny state bordering Myanmar towards east.
    According to Sarita’s compliant in her release, she said, “Until and unless these demands are being fulfilled I will not play for India and I shall also return the Arjuna Award that was awarded to me in 2009.” Besides she would be addressing a press conference tomorrow at Manipur Information Centre, New Delhi. There are so many instances, I can relate as to how bosses of National Sporting Federations ill-treated genuine and excellent players and they were often not selected. Many such incidents went unreported while very few like Sarita used to protest against such highly unethical procedures of selection.
    No wonder, the image of this country has been destroyed in the eyes of the world when foot over bridge at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue for the Commonwealth Games, in New Delhi, collapsed. Many countries have been withdrawing from taking part from this incident. But it is not unexpected.
    It is always doubtful that there would be free and fair selection of players for any games when you have people who don’t care anything about your country’s image. In fact, India’s growing international image is a “sham.” So long, if we don’t have people with integrity and sincerity, nothing will come out. But we have fight on, should never surrender to such scoundrels. I appreciate Sarita’s courage to address the national press at Delhi. It is the right decision, because media is very powerful. Remember it is media that brought out the murkiest underneath empire of Commonwealth Games saga in Delhi to the world.


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