Yogeshwar Dutt’s 2012 Games medal may turn to gold

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Just days after Yogeshwar Dutt‘s London Olympics bronze was upgraded to silver, the star Indian wrestler’s medal may now get converted into gold with champion Toghrul Asgarov also returning positive for banned substance, a media report said on Friday.

According to the report, Asgarov of Azerbaijan, who won the gold medal in the men’s 60kg freestyle category at the 2012 London Games, has tested positive for consuming performance enhancing drugs. Earlier, a Russian agency had reported that the four-time world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Besik Kudukhov of Russia, who had died in a car crash in 2013 in southern Russia, was found to have used a banned substance in a test conducted by the WADA.

With both the gold and silver medallists in 60kg category testing positive for banned substance, Yogeshwar, who had bagged a bronze medal in men’s 60kg freestyle in London, is in line to get a gold, in case his sample comes out clean.

As per WADA’s revised norms, samples taken for dope tests from international tournaments are now stored in deep freeze up to 10 years in order to allow the use of advanced technology, available with the passage of time, to catch the dope cheats to ensure that “the clean athletes get justice even if it comes a bit later”.

The IOC has been re-testing the samples collected at London as well as in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, besides other international tournaments, in view of the new rules.

Yogeshwar, who had bowed out in the first round of men’s 65kg freestyle at the recently concluded Rio Olympic Games, had lost to Kudukhov in the pre-quarterfinals at London. But once the Russian advanced to the final, Yogeshwar got another chance in the repechage round and went on to win bronze.