Yogeshwar Dutt refuses to accept deceased competitor’s medal


New Delhi: A day after receiving news of his bronze medal getting converted into a silver in the wake of the positive dope test of 2012 London Games silver medallist Besik Kudukhov, Yogeshwar Dutt has now expressed his desire that the medal should not be taken away from the late wrestler’s family. 

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India’s 64-kg category pugilist expressed his feelings in his tweet on Wednesday. “Besik Kudukhov shandaar pehelwaan the. Unke mirtyu ke baad dope test mein fail ho jana bahut dukht hai. Main khiladi ke roop mein main unka samaan karta hoon. (Besik Kudukhov was a magnificent wrestler. His dope test returning positive after his death is very sad. As a wrestler, I respect him),” Yogeshwar said in his tweet.

This has certainly come after his initial reaction of happiness where he dedicated the medal to all his countrymen. Two-time Olympic medallist Kudukhov died in a car crash in southern Russia in 2013.

It was only under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) policy of “legacy testing” or “retrospective testing”, where samples of athletes are kept in deep freeze and being tested time and again with the upgradation of testing techniques that Kudukhov was found to be a drug cheat.

“Agar ho sake toh yeh medal unhi ke paas rehne diya jaaye. Unke pariwar ke liye bhi samaan purna hoga. Mere liye manaviya samvedana sarvopari hai. (If possible, he must be allowed to keep the medal. It will keep his family’s honour intact. For me, humanity is above everything else),” the wrestler further added.

Yogeshwar lost to the Russian in the 60-kg freestyle category in London. Since the late wrestler advanced into the final, the Indian got another chance in the repêchage round and went on to claim the bronze.

 The 33-year-old Yogeshwar failed to win a single bout in the recently concluded Rio Games' 65-kg category. He will only be given silver medal after a formal written confirmation by the United World Wrestling.

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