After a disappointing first-round exit at Rio Olympics, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt has something to cheer about.
The bronze he won at the London Games was upgraded to silver after Russia’s Besik Kudukhov’s, who finished second in the 60-kg freestyle event in the 2012 Olympics, tested positive for a banned substance, reports said Tuesday.
In a tweet, Yogeshwar Dutt confirmed that his medal has been upgraded from bronze to silver. However, there has been no official confirmation yet.
India headed into last month’s Rio Games with doping cloud hanging large over its head. The embarrassment was complete after medal hope Narsingh Yadav was handed a four-year ban barely 12 hours ahead of his opening bout, overturning an all-clear given to the wrestler by the country’s anti-doping agency.
According to Russian agency flowrestling.org, the four-time world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Kudukhov, who died in a car crash in 2013 in southern Russia, has been stripped off the silver medal.
In the run-up to the Rio Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in keeping with new rules, re-tested Kudukhov samples collected at London, reports said.
Under revised norms, samples are now stored for up to 10 years to allow the use of advanced tests to weed out dope cheats. The deadline for re-tests was eight years from the year of collection of samples but the IOC extended it by two years in 2015.
“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,” The Indian Express quotes sources in United World Wrestling (UWW) as saying. UWW is wrestling’s global governing body.
Gold-medallist Taymazov’s samples were collected during the 2008 Beijing Games. Kudukhov and Taymazon would both lose their medals. “With Kudukhov testing positive, Yogeshwar Dutt of India will get the silver,” UWW sources said.
However, the official confirmation will have to come from the world body and IOC.
Once confirmed, Yogeshwar will be the second wrestler after Sushil Kumar to win silver at an Olympics. Sushil Kumar, too, won the honour at the London Games but in the 66kg freestyle.
In London, Yogeshwar lost the pre-quarterfinal to Kudukhov. But when the Russian reached the final, Yogeshwar got another chance in the repechage round and went on to win bronze.
So far, only five wrestlers have tested positive in the re-tests.