INCHEON, South Korea (AFP) – Indian boxer Sarita Devi was facing the prospect of disciplinary action Thursday after she refused a medal at the Asian Games, as organisers called for “fair play” following a series of controversies.
Boxing’s world body opened a case against Devi, 32, after she rejected her bronze medal and condemned judges over a controversial semi-final loss to South Korea’s Park Ji-Na.
“The whole incident looked like a well-planned scenario by her and her team,” AIBA technical delegate in Incheon David Francis said in a statement.
Son Cheon-Taik, the sports deputy secretary general of the Games organising committee, said Devi’s decision to refuse the medal was against the spirit of the event.
But he also said organisers had written to the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) after controversies involving India and Mongolia, among others.
“I have written a formal letter to AIBA requesting they ensure fair play in the boxing competition,” he told reporters.
“If India and Mongolia are dissatisfied and file a formal complaint the OCA (Olympic Council of Asia) will investigate and take the appropriate actions.”
At an extraordinary podium ceremony on Wednesday, Devi snubbed the medal and instead hung it around the neck of her South Korean opponent.
The row has reverberated in India, with sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal demanding urgent answers from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
“We have sought a report from IOA on Sarita’s case,” Sonowal told reporters in New Delhi on Wednesday night. “Let them give a detailed report and we will take further steps.”
Members of India’s delegation in Incheon said they have been instructed not to comment further on the matter.
Park’s win on Tuesday sparked scuffles and a foul-mouthed tirade from Devi’s husband, while the Indian camp had to borrow money from a journalist to find the US$500 they needed to pay for a protest.