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9 Things You Need to Know About Yogeshwar Dutt’s Surprise Silver

The Quint takes a look at nine things you need to know about Yogeshwar Dutt’s medal getting upgraded.

Updated
Sports
4 min read
File photo of Yogeshwar Dutt. (Photo: Reuters)

Yogeshwar Dutt’s campaign at the Rio Olympics may have been a nightmare, but a little over a week after the tournament, the wrestler has become an Olympic silver medallist.

How? The Russian wrestler Besik Kudukhov, who had originally won the silver medal in the 60kg freestyle event at the 2012 London Olympics, failed a dope test.

Since Yogeshwar lost to Kudukhov in the pre-quarterfinal bout his bronze medal has been upgraded to a silver. The Indian won the bronze medal through the repechage round.

But why did it take four years for Kudukhov to get banned? Has anybody’s Olympic medal ever upgraded before?

The Quint takes a look at nine things you need to know about Yogeshwar’s surprise silver.

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1. Why Did It Take Four Years?

Besik Kudukhov of Russia celebrates his victory over Vasyl Fedoryshyn of Ukraine in their 60kg men’s freestyle gold medal match at the World Wrestling Championships in Moscow in 2010. (Photo: Reuters)
Besik Kudukhov of Russia celebrates his victory over Vasyl Fedoryshyn of Ukraine in their 60kg men’s freestyle gold medal match at the World Wrestling Championships in Moscow in 2010. (Photo: Reuters)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) re-tested the Russian’s sample which was taken during the London Olympics and after the retest, the 2008 Olympics bronze medallist and four-time world champion was tested positive for dope.

It’s a standard practice to store the samples of each athlete for ten years, so that advanced testing methods can be used to catch dopers.

The IOC has retested several athletes’ samples. Along with Kudukhov, Uzbekistan’s Artur Taymazov, who had won the gold medal in the 120kg category at the 2008 Olympic Games, has failed the dope retest.

2. The One Beaten By Yogeshwar Will Get a Bronze

Yogeshwar Dutt beat Ri Jong-myong in the bronze medal match at the 2012 Olympics. (Photo: Facebook/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Unish.Kuri/">Unish Kuri</a>)
Yogeshwar Dutt beat Ri Jong-myong in the bronze medal match at the 2012 Olympics. (Photo: Facebook/Unish Kuri)

Ri Jong-myong, who was beaten by Yogeshwar in the bronze medal match, will be given a bronze medal.

Jong-myong , who has competed in only one Olympic Games (2012 Olympics) in his career, can celebrate his first Olympic medal.

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3. How Often Does This Happen?

File photo of Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Surpesa-158622147629615/">Surpesa/Facebook</a>)
File photo of Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall. (Photo Courtesy: Surpesa/Facebook)

Olympic medals have been getting upgraded since the first time an athlete got disqualified at the Games.

Sweden’s Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall is the first athlete to get disqualified for a failed dope test. The Swedish modern pentathlete, who took part in three Olympic Games (1964, 1968 and 1972), won a bronze medal in the team event at the Mexico City Games in 1972.

But, thereafter, Liljenwal failed a dope test and France were given the bronze medal. The Sweden team was asked to return their medals.

4. Yogeshwar Dedicates the Silver Medal to His Countrymen

Yogeshwar Dutt, who was the third wrestler to win an Olympic medal, dedicated his silver medal to the country, when he was made aware about his bronze medal getting upgraded.

Dutt tweeted, “I go to know this morning (Monday) that my bronze medal is getting upgraded to silver medal. I dedicate this medal to all my countrymen also.”

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5. Retesting of Samples

A technician holds a test tube with a blood sample at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow. (Photo: Reuters)
A technician holds a test tube with a blood sample at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow. (Photo: Reuters)

The International Olympic Committee has stored athletes’ samples from the 2008 Olympic Games. The IOC have four rounds of retesting the samples, so that they are able to cover all the samples.

After the first two rounds, 98 failed their dope retests, which included medallists from the 2008 and 2012 Games.

As of June, 22 of the 98 athletes were Russians.

6. Kudukhov Doesn’t Even Have a Chance to Defend Himself

When India’s wrestler Narsingh Yadav failed a dope test, he claimed his food was sabotaged by one of his rivals at the Sports Authority of India, Sonepat centre hostel.

But Kudukhov can’t defend himself unfortunately, as the Russian passed away in 2013 after a car accident.

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7. Olympic Medal Upgrade — A Lengthy Process

File photo of the Rio Olympics medals. (Photo: Reuters)
File photo of the Rio Olympics medals. (Photo: Reuters)

It is a lengthy process, when it comes to an Olympic medal upgrade. When medallists are caught for doping, they are asked to return their medals and the awards are given to the next finisher in their respective events.

But, the changes that have to be made in the Olympic record books might take several years.

8. Lance Armstrong Was Also Caught Due to Retesting

File photo of Lance Armstrong. (Photo: Reuters)
File photo of Lance Armstrong. (Photo: Reuters)

French officials had retested some of Lance Armstrong’s samples which was taken in 1999 and gave the data to the Unites States Anti-Doping Agency in 2012.

Armstrong was tested positive for a drug called Erythropoietin (EPO) in six samples. This particular retest led Armstrong to be banned from cycling for life.

He was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins and had to return his Olympic bronze medal, which he won in the 2000 Olympics.

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9. Dope Retests Have Also Put the Great Usain Bolt in Danger

Usain Bolt. (Photo: Reuters)
Usain Bolt. (Photo: Reuters)

Usain Bolt completed the ‘triple-triple’ after winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold for the third consecutive time at the Rio Olympics.

But this fantastic feat is in danger as one of Bolt’s teammates in the 4x100m event at the 2008 Olympic Games has been tested positive for dope, when his sample was retested, along with 454 samples.

Nesta Carter’s A-Sample has been tested positive for methylhexanamin drug. If his B-Sample test also returns positive, then the 2008 Olympics Jamican team for the 4x100m relay will be stripped of their gold medals.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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