The United World Wrestling (UWW) quashed all speculation about star wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt’s bronze at the 2012 Olympics turning into gold by announcing that gold medallist Togrul Asgarov of Azerbaijan has not tested positive for banned substances.
“Contrary to news reports, 2012 Olympic gold medallist Togrul ASGAROV (AZE) has never been in violation of UWW’s anti-doping policy,” UWW, the governing body of world wrestling confirmed on Twitter.
Yogeshwar had originally taken bronze in the men’s 60kg freestyle category at the London Olympics in 2012 by defeating Ri Jong-Myong of North Korea in the play-off.
The 34-year-old had been defeated by Russian grappler Besik Kudukhov in the pre-quarterfinals at the 2012 Games. Kudukov went on to bag the silver after losing to Asgarov in the final.
However, Kudukov, who had died in a car crash in southern Russia in 2013, was recently found to have used a banned substance during a retest of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics conducted by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), which means the Indian’s bronze medal is expected to be upgraded to silver.
Earlier, Yogeshwar, who failed to win a match at the 2016 Rio Olympics, had said that he has been informed that his 2012 bronze was upgraded to silver.
“This morning I got to know that my Olympic medal has been upgraded to Silver. I dedicate this medal to my countrymen,” is the English rendering of what Yogeshawar wrote in Hindi on August 30.
Following the report, Yogeshwar in a sporting gesture announced that he wanted Kudukhov’s family to retain the 2012 silver of which the Russian was stripped after testing positive for banned substances.
In London, the Haryana grappler defeated Franklin Gomez of Puerto Rico, Masoud Esmaeilpour of Iran and Jong-myong in the repechage rounds to claim bronze.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is still awaiting official news on Yogeshwar’s silver medal upgradation also with UWW yet to confirm the development, as Yogeshwar’s sample is also being tested.