Stunned by Vikas Krishan's ouster from the Olympic Games following a reversal of decision by the International Boxing Association, Indian Chef-de-Mission P K Muralidharan Raja has said the country's contingent will not take AIBA's decision lying down even though it has "limited options" in the matter.
The 20-year-old had won 13-11 over Errol Spence in a thrilling contest on Friday but following an appeal by his rival's team management, the AIBA awarded the bout 15-13 to the American citing the fouls committee by the Indian which were not noticed by the referee.
Raja, also the Indian Boxing Federation's Secretary General, said the team will not accept the decision.
"I will be meeting the Indian boxing team at 10:00 am (2:30pm IST) and then we will decide the future course of action," Raja said.
"The decision has been overturned but it's not as if we cannot do anything about it," he insisted.
But Raja admitted that there were not too many options in front of the team after the world body's review and reversal of the original decision.
"In such cases, the jury's decision is final. Because they replay the bout and go through it very closely before deciding whether to stick to the original decision or overturn it. Not many options are there but let's see. We will still try to find a way forward," he said.
Earlier, the AIBA cited fouls committed by Vikas as the reason for overturning his 13-11 win.
"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 spat out his gum-shield 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 spat out his gum-shield, the Referee's view was blocked by the boxer from the USA and was not able to see the action," the 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.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) also came out in support of Vikas and condemned the decision of AIBA.
"IOA condemns this decision. This result should be strongly taken up by the Indian contingent and unitedly protested and reviewed," IOA vice-President Tarlochan Singh said.
"There are four different judges and they make their separate decisions. It is baffling. Why did none of them object to this? Four people have given verdicts and it is wrong for USA to appeal after the decision has been given," he added.
Vikas' father Krishan Kumar said: "It is totally wrong. I had a word with him after he was declared a winner and then we went to sleep. It is only in the morning that we saw that the decision has been overturned.
"The officials of the Indian team should protest against this decision and he should be reinstated. If this is not protested, it will affect the morale of the boxers. I also want to request Sports Minister Ajay Maken to take it up with USA and help it to be overturned," he added.
Photograph: Patrick Semansky/ AP Photo