Indian Olympic medallist and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt might have had a disappointing stint at the recently concluded Rio 2016 Olympics, but he has something to lift up his spirits. Dutt’s bronze medal, which he won at the 2012 London Games, is set to be upgraded to silver. The unexpected upgrade has been triggered by a positive dope test of the silver winner in the 60-kg freestyle event in London – Russia’s Besik Kudukhov.
In London, Yogeshwar had lost his pre-quarterfinal bout to Kudukhov. When the Russian wrestler reached the final, Yogeshwar got another opportunity for a podium finish in the repechage round – he defeated Franklin Gomez of Puerto Rico, Masoud Esmaeilpour of Iran and Ri Jong-myong of North Korea to claim bronze.
The standard practice, which involves re-testing of samples stored for up to 10 years to allow the use of advanced testing methods to weed out dope cheats, conducted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has now paved the way for Yogeshwar to join the ranks of wrestler Sushil Kumar and shooter Vijay Kumar as silver-medallists for India.
So what happens next for Yogeshwar? In the case of medal upgrades, the process takes time. When instances of Olympic doping cases pop up, any medal in his or her name is usually asked to return and is awarded to the next finisher in the line. To set the record books straight, the process might take years. Before the Sydney 2000 Olympics, most of the violations were caught during or just after the Games. But IOC’s re-testing of samples has demanded more time in reassigning the medals.