While officials from other countries were busy protesting unfair decisions against their athletes, India’s boxer Sarita Devi was left to fend for herself — with Indian Olympic Association representatives quietly ignoring the ignominy of the clear bias towards South Korean athletes.
In fact, according to an Indian Express report, such was the situation that Sarita Devi had to borrow the appeal deposit of $500 from coach Lenin Meitei and an Indian journalist.
Which brings us to this: if the Indian officials already knew that there was no point in appealing, why did they make Sarita (who, by virtue of being an athlete can be forgiven for not knowing administrative rules) wait for a couple of hours before stepping in? In comparison and according to the same report, Mongolian officials who also thought their boxer Tugstsogt Nyambayar was given a similarly unfair decision, quickly made their protest felt without wasting any time.
To make matters worse, a Mumbai Mirror report says that India’s deputy chef-de-mission Kuldip Vats was present at the venue when the whole fracas went down — but sneaked away without offering any assistance. As if that was not enough, IOA general secretary Rajiv Mehta stayed put on his VIP seat as Sarita Devi and her husband struggled to lodge an appeal outside.
All he told the two-time boxing world champion while leaving the venue was ‘why was the appeal not filed earlier?’
It would be apt to ask him back — where were you when you were needed by your country?
We all know the answer.