Indian boxer faces action after refusing medal

Wed Oct 1, 2014 10:08am EDT
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By Julian Linden

INCHEON South Korea (Reuters) - Indian boxer L Sarita Devi could face disciplinary action after being reported to Asian Olympic officials for refusing to accept her bronze medal at the Asian Games on Wednesday.

Sarita refused to wear the medal when it was presented to her on Wednesday, taking it only in her hand before trying to drape it over another competitor who had beaten her in a fight the previous day.

When the presentation was over, she left the medal behind, despite being told by the organizers to take it with her.

The International Boxing Federation took a dim view of her actions, submitting a formal report to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) over her behavior.

"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 Francis said in a statement.

"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."

Sarita had to settle for the bronze medal after losing her lightweight semi-final on Tuesday to South Korea's Park Ji-na, who was declared a unanimous 3-0 winner.

But the result was disputed by India, who thought Sarita should have been declared the winner, prompting cries of foul.   Continued...

India's bronze medallist Laishram Sarita Devi reacts during the medal ceremony for the women's light (57-60kg) boxing competition at the Seonhak Gymnasium during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon October 1, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon