India's Sarita Devi sensationally refused to accept her bronze medal on Wednesday in a row over judging standards in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
India's Sarita Devi gestures towards silver medallist South Korea's Park Jina as the latter tries to persuade Devi to accept her bronze medal during the medal ceremony for the women’s light 60kg division boxing at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. (AP Photo)
In fact, the boxer tried to hang it around the neck of the South Korean she lost to in the semi-finals.
Devi's highly controversial defeat to Park Jina on Tuesday had caused chaotic scenes with her husband scuffling with security and launching an expletives-laden tirade.
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On Wednesday, 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, she 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.
As Park gave a traditional Korean bow, Devi put the bronze round the bemused fighter's neck.
"I said, 'This is for you and all Korea, because you only deserve a bronze,'" Devi told AFP afterwards.
"It was a protest for all the sportsmen and women of the world against injustice in sport."
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A spokesman told AFP that the Incheon Asian Games Organising Committee members present had been "offended" by Devi's gesture.
"If she wanted to refuse the medal, she should have not come to the ceremony," he said.