Rediff.com  » Sports » Discus thrower Gowda backs boxer Sarita Devi after Asiad row

Discus thrower Gowda backs boxer Sarita Devi after Asiad row

Source: PTI
November 26, 2014 15:35 IST
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Throwing his weight behind veteran boxer Sarita Devi, who is currently serving a provisional suspension, India's ace discus thrower Vikas Gowda said International Boxing Association should review the system to avoid controversies in the future.

Vikas Gowda"For obvious reasons they (AIBA) have to review their system to avoid controversies relating to suspension of athletes. There has to be a clear way to find out that everyone thinks one person won, then the referees are disagreeing -- that's not right," he told PTI in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

- Robbed of final berth, inconsolable Sarita refuses bronze!

Gowda, who won the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold with a throw of 63.64 m, said it is frustrating for any athlete to get robbed off their medal.

"If somebody clearly wins, and to rob them off that moment, that's worse thing. It is the opposite of sports. It is politics. So, I totally understand the frustration that she must be going through (Sarita Devi)," he added.

Gowda said it is disappointing to come across such incidents in boxing every year due to disagreements of referees.

"I follow boxing. Every year, there is always handful of faces that people watch. Clearly 99 per cent people will say this person won, but these three people -- the referees -- are the only people, who disagree," he said.

Asked whether he was supporting Sarita Devi, Gowda said, "I am not supporting, but there has to be some fairness as is evident in track and field events. It is clear he ran faster than this person and he or she wins. I don't want to go into the full details of individual situations."

Devi had lost in the semi-finals of the women's lightweight (60kg) competition at the Incheon Asian Games in September, and in protest gave the bronze medal to give her medal at the presentation ceremony.

Devi, upset with the controversial decision, refused to bend down to let the medal be placed over her neck. She then took the medal and slipped it onto the neck of Park Ji-Na, who had been declared the winner of their semi-final bout.

The South Korean boxer, an eventual silver medalist, tried to give the bronze medal back to Devi, then left it on the podium.

 

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