Drama and controversy reign at Asian Games

Wed Oct 1, 2014 1:55pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

INCHEON South Korea (Reuters) - Cries of foul play took over the Asian Games on Wednesday when an Indian female boxer refused to accept her medal and Malaysia lodged a formal complaint after one of its competitors failed a drugs test.

An Iraqi runner was also awarded a gold after a bizarre end to one of the key athletic events where he finished fourth but the first three finishers were all disqualified.

Multi-sports events are always filled with drama and controversy but even by the eccentric nature of the Asian Games, Wednesday's developments were bordering on the bizarre.

The Indian boxer L Sarita Devi was left facing disciplinary action after being reported to Asian Olympic officials over her behavior.

Sarita refused to wear the bronze medal that was presented to her on Wednesday, taking it only in her hand before trying to drape it over a South Korean opponent who had beaten her in a fight the previous day.

When the presentation was over, Sarita 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.   Continued...

India's bronze medallist Laishram Sarita Devi (R) talks with South Korea's silver medallist Park Ji-na 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