The Indian campaign at the Asian Wrestling Championship got off to a bad start in Astana, Kazakhstan with two withdrawals. Amit Kumar, part of the 57 kg catedory, had to pull out on medical grounds after he was hospitalised for food poisoning. Another withdrawal came in the 125 kg category, with grappler Rajiv Tomar forced out by the FILA, wrestling’s governing body.
Tomar, out of the Indian team since 2010 for doping violations, was given a two-year suspension for testing positive for methylhexaneamine by a National Anti-Doping (NADA) disciplinary panel. But the appeals panel terminated the ban on the grounds that the case was delayed due to various reasons that could not be attributed to the wrestlers.
As per rules, an out of competition dope test should have been conducted on Tomar before his return to active competition, something Tomar had not compiled with.
Once in Astana, the FILA officials asked the Indian team management not to field Tomar in the 125 kg category. Tomar stayed away from the weigh-ins on Tuesday. “We were told by the FILA officials not to field him. So his name was withdrawn,” said a member of the coaching team on condition of anonymity.
“Amit was discharged today morning but we still did not play him as he hadn’t really recovered and we did not want to risk his health further,” he added.
Dhanda bags bronze
But there were some good news too from the mat, as Pooja Dhanda bagged the the first medal for the country on Day One. Pooja won bronze medal in the 58 kg category after beating Uzbekistan’s Lilya Shakirova 11-0 in the repechage medal round. Earlier, Pooja was defeated in the semifinals by Japan’s Risako Kawai.
However, Rajneesh Kumar and Pawan Kumar made early exits. While Rajneesh was beaten in the first repechage round by
Khazakstan’s Dauren Zhumagaziev in the 65 kg category, Pawan lost his opening bout to Uzbekistan’s Rashid Kurbanov.