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Sore loser boxer rejects Games medal

1h ago
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An Indian boxer has caused a stir at the Asian Games after refusing to accept her bronze medal and instead placing it around the neck of the South Korean fighter who beat her. The drama unfolded after India's Sarita Devi was controversially defeated by South Korea's Park Ji-na in their semi-final of the 60kg division on Tuesday. In what appeared to be a well orchestrated move, Devi was awarded the bronze but as the Games official moved away from the dais she stepped off and placed it around the neck of silver medalist Ji-na's neck and embraced her rival. Devi's actions earned her a rebuke from the International Boxing Association, which opened a disciplinary case against her. "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 technical delegate David Francis said in a statement. Devi's highly contentious defeat to Ji-Na on Tuesday, after the Indian dominated the semi-final, caused chaotic scenes with her husband scuffling with security and launching an expletives-laden tirade. Before the medal presentation, Devi burst into tears as she walked to the podium with her arms folded and her head down. As she was presented with the bronze a still sobbing anb wailing Devi held up her hands and said she would not accept it. Twice officials tried to put it round her neck but she would not comply. After the other medals had been awarded, Devi stepped off the podium, took the bronze from the official and went to shake silver medallist Park's hand. Devi then put the bronze round the bemused fighter's neck before breaking into a smile and turning to wave to Indian supporters in the crowd. "I said, 'This is for you and all Korea, because you only deserve a bronze,'" Devi told AFP afterwards. "Once I put the medal round her neck I felt a great relief. I didn't want the medal. I'm happy now. "It was a protest for all the sportsmen and women of the world against injustice in sport. There should be fair play in sport." A bewildered Park said she was confused and didn't know what was happening. "She told me something, but I couldn't understand," Park told AFP. "Devi hung her medal on me. I tried to give the medal back to her, but she didn't want it. "I wasn't sure what to do, so someone told me to leave it on the podium." A spokesman told AFP that Incheon Asian Games Organising Committee members present had been "offended" by Devi's gesture and had to send a volunteer to retrieve the abandoned medal. "If she wanted to refuse the medal she should have not come to the ceremony," he said.