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Yogeshwar Dutt refuses Olympic silver medal for India, says let ‘great’ Russian wrestler’s family keep it, despite dope taint

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Fri September 02 2016, 8:01 pm
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    Surprise! Yogeshwar Dutt does not want an Olympic silver medal that he earned, fairly! A day after the Indian grappler learnt that the Russian wrestler who defeated him and won an Olympic gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics has been disqualified due to being found guilty of doping and that the medal now rightfully belonged to him, Yogeshwar Dutt took to Twitter to say he does not want it. (Express Photo)

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    Whether that has anything to do with the fact that Russian wrestler Besik Kudukhov died in a car crash barely a year after winning the medal, and it looks to have acquired an aura of inauspiciousness now is not known. But the fact is that after a doping re-test was carried out recently, the man was found to have taken recourse to illegal performance-enhancing substances and that his 60-kg freestyle event silver medal now stood revoked. India, therefore, became the beneficiary. (Reuters)

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    Yogeshwar Dutt in his initial reaction looked to have been taking a dig at his dead rival on Twitter. On Tuesday evening he said, “Jo likha hota hai, wo hoke rehta hai (What’s written in the stars is bound to happen).” And the wrestler virtually dedicated the silver medal to the nation by adding, “This is good, another victory for India.” (Express photo)

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    On Wednesday morning, however, things changed. Yogeshwar, in a post, declared that Besik Kudukhov’s family should keep the silver medal. Yogeshwar in fact, heaped great praise on his rival, calling him a 'great' wrestler and even expressed sympathy for the dead man's family. (Reuters)

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    This new revelation came due to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules which say that re-testing of samples is mandatory and this had revealed rampant drug abuse during the London Games that was not caught then as the equipment was not up-to-date to identify new methods/substances used by these cheating athletes. Samples of athletes are now kept for up to 10 years and this enables authorities to use new methods discovered/manufactured in this period to catch drug cheats. And this led to Yogeshwar Dutt being dragged under the spotlight again, reluctantly, it seems. (Reuters)

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    At the London Olympics, Yogeshwar lost his pre-quarterfinal match to Kudukhov and then went on to reach the final, which gave the Indian a chance to fight on further through the repachage round method. Grabbing the chance with both hands, Yogeshwar defeated all subsequent rivals including Franklin Gomez of Puerto Rico, Masoud Esmaeilpour of Iran and Ri Jong-myong of North Korea and thereby won the bronze medal. (Reuters)

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    But that is not where the story ended then! Now, that Yogeshwar does not want it, will the IOC oblige? Is it bound by the Indian wrestler's sacrifice? Do authorities here have the right to come into the picture and lay claim to the medal, which is rightfully this country's? Questions that will need to be answered before the case is finally closed. (PTI)

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