The organising committee of Asian Games 2014 said that the Olympic Council of Asia is reviewing Sarita Devi's bronze medal and that India is not the only country to have complained of rampant cheating in Incheon's boxing competitions. The Incheon Asian Games Organising Committee (IAGOC) has also written to Amateur International Boxing Association about fairplay at the Games. (Also read: Sports Ministry waits for Indian Olympic Association's report)
IAGOC's action comes in the wake of two controversial bouts - both involving South Korean boxers. India and Mongolia had lodged protest after their boxers lost controversially but these were rejected by the technical jury.Â "The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is working on the review of the medal, whether or not to give it to her or confiscate it. So they are deciding what to do with it," said Games organising committee's deputy secretary general, Cheon-taik Son.
Son also said that every effort was made to ensure fairness before the start of the Games. "We wanted to make sure we didn't just claim to be fair but that we did our best to maintain the integrity of the Games. We introduced an academic programme and provided education and training to judges at the Games." Sarita however felt cheated by the decision made by the judges in her semifinal bout.
Meanwhile, Sarita is flying back to India after meeting India's Chef de Mission, Adille Sumariwala. A former international sprinter, Sumariwala had criticised Sarita for refusing to accept the medal on Wednesday. Sumariwala sounded much softer on Thursday, telling NDTV: We are trying our best to save the kid.
The Indian boxer's decision to not accept the bronze medal attracted world attention to what India and Mongolia claim were unfair results. AIBA though is considering disciplinary action against her. "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," AIBA supervisor David B. Francis wrote in his report to OCA. (Full report)
Sarita lost her Asian Games lightweight (57-60kg) boxing semifinal against South Korea's Jina Park under controversial circumstances. Despite landing heavy blows on the local favourite, the judges chose to declare Park the winner on points, leaving Sarita visibly agitated. "I kept my child away from me to train hard. When a player trains hard and something controversial like this happens, it is very sad," she said.
(With inputs from Suprita Das and Reuters)