In a stunning reversal of fortunes, Indian boxer Vikas Krishan (69kg) has been ousted from the Olympics after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) overturned the result of his pre-quarterfinal bout, that he had won, following a review.
The 20-year-old had won 13-11 over Errol Spence in a thrilling contest last night but following an appeal by his rival's team management, the AIBA awarded the bout 15-13 to the American.
"There were a total of nine (9) holding fouls committed by the Indian boxer in the third round alone. However the Referee only gave one caution," the AIBA said in a statement after a review by its Competition Jury.
"In the second round, at the time 02:38, the boxer from India spitted out his gumshield intentionally. However the Referee didn't give any warning," it added.
Based on these "findings", the jury members "unanimously" decided to award Spence four points, thereby making him the winner.
"Based on the AIBA Technical & Competition Rules 12.1.9, the Referee should have given at least two (2) warnings to the Indian boxer. Although the boxer from India intentionally spitted out his gumshield, the Referee's view was blocked by the boxer from the USA and was not able to see the action," it international body said.
"...at least four points should have been awarded to the boxer from the USA. Therefore the final score should be 13:15 in favour of the USA. The protest is accepted and the winner of Bout 142 is Errol Spence (USA)," the AIBA statement added.
Vikas, only the second Indian boxer after Vijender to fetch a bronze medal in the World Championship, was among the biggest medal prospects for the country.
Earlier, India were at the wrong end of the AIBA review system when the country's appeal against the close opening-round loss of Sumit Sangwan (81kg) was rejected by the world body's competition jury.
Boxing at the ongoing Olympics has been marred by several controversies with AIBA's scoring system coming under severe criticism.
Two judges have been suspended so far after protests by participating teams.
Meanwhile, Spence has moved into the quarterfinals to face Russia's Andrey Zamkovoy on Tuesday.