Asian Games: Sarita Devi Incident Looks Well Planned, Says World Boxing Body
Sarita Devi broke down on the podium during the Asian Games medal ceremony for the lightweight 57-60 kg category in Incheon on Wednesday, refusing to wear the bronze medal awarded to her around her neck.
Mr David B. Francis, an AIBA Supervisor, known as the Technical Delegate, submitted a report to the Olympic Council of Asia concerning the case of an Indian Boxer's behaviour who refused the bronze medal at the Award Ceremony for the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, which took place on Wednesday at the Sunhak Boxing Competition Venue.
"The whole incident looked like a well planned scenario by her and her team, and it is regretful to watch a boxer refuse the medal regardless of what happened in the competition. In this regard, as the Technical Delegate, I had to request OCA to review this incident, so any boxer or athlete in other sports will not follow in her footsteps by respecting the spirit of fair-play and sportsmanship of the Olympic Movement," said Mr Francis.
In early September, AIBA had provisionally recognized Boxing India as the new National Federation representing the sport of boxing in India, ending the exclusion of the previous National Federation. However, all boxers participating at the Asian Games currently were selected by the Ad Hoc Committee formed by the Indian Olympic Association, not by Boxing India. (Also Read: Sarita May be Punished for Returning Medal)
It was clear that the whole Indian Boxing Team were protesting the AIBA Referees and Judges' system and management, which was obviously caused by a lack of understanding of the AIBA Technical and AOB Competition Rules.
Following the AIBA Technical Delegate's letter to OCA, Ms Laishram Sarita Devi from India, who competed in the Women's Lightweight category (60 kg) against Ms Jina Park from Korea in the Semi-Finals on Tuesday lost by unanimous decision 3-0.
Immediately after the bout, the Indian Team submitted a protest, however the Indian Team did not follow the AIBA Technical Rules and protested against the judges' decisions, though the Rules only allow a protest against the Referee's Decision.
Then, the boxer appeared at the Medal Ceremony which took place today after the Women's Finals were over. (Related: Bout Was Fixed: Says Sarita's Husband)
When the medal presenter tried to put the medal on her neck, she refused and grabbed the medal, walked to the Korean boxer and put the medal on her neck instead.
As the Korean boxer returned it back to the Indian Boxer, she then left the medal at the podium and left the Ceremony.
Then, after the Organizing Committee member of staff followed her and insisted she take the medal, she asked him to leave it in the protest room. When the Organizing Committee staff walked towards the protest room, all Indian journalists followed the staff and some of them shouted "Koreans are stealing their medal."
AIBA has already proceeded its Disciplinary Action Process to review this case, and the decision will be made immediately after the Asian Games.