New Delhi: Yogeshwar Dutt, who failed to win a match at 2016 Rio Olympics, might have some very good news waiting for him. His London 2012 Olympics bronze, in all likelihood, will be upgraded to silver after the second-place finisher, the late Besik Kudukhov (60kg) of Russia, tested positive for doping.
In a tweet, Yogeshwar said his medal has been upgraded from bronze to silver. “Today morning I came to know that my Olympics medal has been upgraded to silver. I dedicate my medal to all my contrymen,” he tweeted. However, no official announcement has been made by the sports bodies. As per Russian agency, flowrestling.org, the four-time world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Kudukhov’s, who had died in a car crash in 2013 in southern Russia, sample tested positive for a banned substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency. As a result, Yogeshwar, who had bagged a bronze medal in men’s 60kg freestyle category in London Games, may move up from bronze to silver and join Sushil Kumar as another silver medallist from the 2012 Olympics.
“If a medallist has tested positive for a banned substance, then it is a standard procedure to give his medal to the next best athlete. However, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has to inform the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), International Olympic Committee (IOC) and United World Wrestling about the development. It might take some time for Yogeshwar to get the silver medal,” Jagdish Kaliraman, former Indian wrestler.
“No body has confirmed the failed dope test of the Russian wrestler and until that is done no official announcement will be made.”
The Wrestling Federation of India told The Hindu that they had been informed about the decision. They, however, are yet to make an official announcement as the written confirmation from the International Olympic Committee hasn’t yet arrived. Whether and when Yogeshwar, who had bowed out in the first round of men’s 65kg freestyle at the recently concluded Rio Olympic Games, would be handed a silver medal will be confirmed only when the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) gets it in writing from the World body (UWW). Before the Rio Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) re-tested Kudukhov’s sample, which was collected during the 2012 London Games. Samples are now stored for up to 10 years to use advanced testing methods to catch dope-tainted athletes.
“The samples of five wrestlers, including Russia’s Besik Kudukhov (60 kg) and Uzbekistan’s Artur Taymazov’s (120 kg), have tested positive for banned substances. Kudukhov failed a dope test in re-tests of samples collected during the London Games. In Taymazov’s case, the re-tests date back to samples collected from the Beijing Games (2008). Kudukhov is a silver medallist and Taymazon a gold-medal winner. They will lose their medals. With Kudukhov testing positive, Yogeshwar Dutt of India will get the silver,” a source in United World Wrestling (UWW), the governing body.
In 2012 Games, Yogeshwar lost his pre-quarterfinal to Kudukhov. The Russian wrestler reached the final, and Yogeshwar got another opportunity to win a medal in the repechage round. In repechage he beat Franklin Gomez of Puerto Rico, Masoud Esmaeilpour of Iran and Ri Jong-myong of North Korea to clinch bronze.