KOCHI: It seems Yogeshwar Dutt is on his way to sporting immortality. The iconic wrestler’s silver, that had got upgraded two days ago from bronze, might be elevated to gold after it was reported that Togrul Asgarov, the actual gold winner at the 2012 London Games in the 60kg category, was tested positive for a banned substance in a dope re-test.
However, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) officials said they was no confirmation on this development from United World Wrestling (UWW).
Yogeshwar’s bronze was converted to silver after deceased Russian grappler Besik Kudukhov’s samples returned positive. However, he didn’t want the medal to be taken away from Kudukhov’s family, and asked officials concerned to allow the family to keep it.
The new revelation, which could drive the medal-starved nation into a frenzy, came in the backdrop of WADA re-testing samples of medallists from the 2008 Beijing Olynpics and London with improved technology, so that dope cheats can be booked for doping-rule violations later.
The retesting program was done in four phases, and the first two phases were completed before the Rio Games, while the rest were held after that. As per new rules, the International Olympic Commitee (IOC) can store the samples for up to 10 years. Earlier, storage was done for eight years.
Sources close to Yogeshwar said they haven’t got any communication from UWW or WFI regarding the medal upgradation. “We have heard unconfirmed news that Asgarov has failed a test. But we didn’t get any confirmation, nor could we independently confirm it. We’re awaiting confirmation with a racing heart. If Asgarov has indeed failed, then it would be big news for the pehlwanji (wrestler), and the country,” said a member of the 33-year-old’s grapplers entourage.