Indian boxer suspended after protesting Asian Games judging
NEW DELHI – Indian boxer Sarita Devi was on Wednesday provisionally suspended by the sport’s world governing body after refusing to accept her bronze medal at the Asian Games in a protest against judging.
It means Devi will not be allowed to participate in the world championships to be held in Jeju Island, South Korea, in November, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) said in a statement.
AIBA, which has referred the suspension to its disciplinary commission for a review, has also barred the boxer’s coaches and the Indian chef-de-mission at the Games, Adille Sumariwalla, from taking part in AIBA competitions until further notice.
Devi, who controversially lost after appearing to dominate her lightweight (60kg) Asiad semifinal bout against South Korean boxer Park Ji-Na in Incheon, tearfully refused to accept the bronze during the medal ceremony.
The contentious defeat a day earlier had sparked ugly scenes and scuffles as Devi’s enraged husband tried to lead a protest resulting in him launching an expletive-filled rant at officials.
At an extraordinary podium ceremony, Devi twice refused the medal before hanging it around the neck of her stunned Korean opponent. Devi later issued an “unconditional apology” to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) for her behavior.
There were protests over a number of judging decisions in favor of home boxers during the Games, which were held in the South Korean city in September-October.
Mongolian and Filipino boxers also suffered controversial defeats prompting calls from their delegation officials for a review of the scoring system.
The Incheon organizing committee complained about Devi’s behavior at the time but also said it had written to AIBA calling on the governing body to “ensure fair play in competition”.
There was no immediate reaction from Indian sports officials on news of the suspension. — Agence France-Presse
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