Once again, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials found themselves at the wrong side of a controversy as they fled off from the scene after Indian women’s Boxer Sarita Devi who was about to appeal against her match decision. Although senior IOA officials, including secretary general Rajeev Mehta and deputy chef de mission Kuldeep Vats, were present at the venue, none offered assistance.
The boxer, who lost to a Koren opponent in the semis, felt she was a victim of a ‘pre-determined’ bout as the Korean was gifted the bout inspite of Sarita looked the clear winner as she landed more successful punches. Sarita waited for almost an hour for assistance as she, along with her Thoiba Singh tried their best to submit an official protest. The coaches, who were busy attending the other boxers whose bouts were lined up, could not tend to their needs.
Mehta, instead, asked Sarita along with a couple of journalists on why there was a delay in lodging the protest. He himself was unaware of the protocols and procedures. Then he consoled Sarita “Don’t worry, it will be fine,”. Even Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) secretary general Randhir Singh decided to steer clear from the issue. Finally, Sarita Devi had to borrow the appeal deposit of $500 from coach Lenin Meitei and an Indian journalist who was covering the Games.
Like Sarita Devi, Nyambayar lost to a South Korean opponent after a controversial decision. While Mongolian boxer Nyambayar was the winner, at least according to a large number of those who watched the bout. The judges felt otherwise. They had awarded the bout to Sangmyeong Ham. Immediately, the Mongolian officials swung into action. Their chef de mission, Badmaanyambu Baterdene reached the venue within minutes, took up the issue with the organisers and led the protest. Barely 15 minutes after the bout, entire Mongolian contingent decided to take the International Boxing Association (AIBA) head on.