Ending her defiance, Indian boxer L Sarita Devi appeared before an official committee of the Asian Games on Thursday and expressed regret over returning the bronze after her controversial loss to a Korean boxer, following which her medal was reinstated.
“I attended the Olympic Council of Asia working group hearing this morning and expressed regret over what happened at the medal ceremony (of the women’s 60kg group) on Wednesday . . . . I told them it had happened in an emotional moment”, said Sarita.
“The OCA has reinstated Sarita Devi as the bronze medal winner in the 60kg category. The medal will come to us tomorrow morning,” Indian contingent’s chef de mission Adille Sumariwalla told.
Light weight woman boxer Sarita, who was robbed off a shot at gold due to poor ring-side judging despite totally dominating her semifinal bout on September 30 against her South Korean opponent Jina Park, did not allow the medal to be hung around her neck at the medal ceremony.
After accepting it by hand, she hung it around the neck of silver medallist Park, who controversially defeated her in the semi-finals, and left the podium without the medal which was left behind by the Korean too.
Sumariwalla also said that he had asked for a review of the bout by an independent panel appointed by OCA.
“I have asked for a review of Sarita’s bout by an independent panel appointed by OCA,” said the former national men’s sprint champion.
The threat of a ban on the boxer by the world governing body AIBA persists and Sumariwalla has said that his priority now is to prevent this from happening.
Earlier, the organising committee of Asian Games said that Indian boxer L Sarita Devi’s refusal to accept her bronze medal during the ceremony was “regretful and against the spirit of sportsmanship” and the matter has now landed on the doorsteps of Olympic Council of Asia.