India boxer Devi suspended for Asian Games protest
NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian boxer L. Sarita Devi has been provisionally suspended from competition for rejecting her Asian Games bronze medal at the podium following her controversial semifinal loss at Incheon.
The amateur boxing world governing body announced Wednesday it was also barring coaches Gurbaksh Sandhu, Sagar Dhayal and Blax Iglesias Fernandes and India’s chef de mission Adile Sumariwala from its events until further notice. That includes the women’s world championships at Jeju, South Korea, later in the year.
The disciplinary case against Devi, who protested against the scoring in her semifinal bout with a South Korean boxer, commenced within hours of the medal ceremony in the women’s 60-kilogram class.
Devi refused to bend down to let the medal be placed over her neck. She took the medal in hand, went across and slipped it onto the neck of Park Ji-na, who had been declared winner of the semifinal bout. The South Korean boxer tried to give it back, then left it on the podium.
The protest prompted AIBA technical delegate David Francis to say it “looked like a well-planned scenario by her and her team.”
Devi had said after the tear-filled podium protest that she was “ready to face any repercussions” if it helped boxing in the long run. But the next day, she issued an “unconditional apology” for her “emotional outburst.”