Yogeshwar says no to silver medal, wants Kudukhov's kin to keep it

Yogeshwar-dutt-pti (File) Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt

Displaying amazing grace, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt on Wednesday announced that he would rather let late Russian wrestler Besik Kudukhov, who was stripped of his silver medal from London 2012 Olympics, retain it.

In a statement issued over micro blogging site Twitter, the London 2012 Bronze medalist said, “Kudukhov was a magnificent wrestler and I respect him a lot. His dope test was done after he passed away and failing that was very sad. If possible this medal should remain with his family . This will mean a lot to them too. For me, being humane is most important.” Twenty-seven-year-old wrestling powerhouse Kudukhov—a four-time World Champion and double Olympic medalist—died in a car crash in December 2013.

While this is undoubtedly a magnanimous and graceful gesture from the Indian grappler who was unable to to make it past the first round in the recently-concluded Olympic Games in Rio, it appears that Dutt's views will matter little to International Olympic Committee and United World Wrestling who are yet to officially announce Dutt as the silver medalist.

While India celebrated over the news of medal upgrade, there remains a gap between Dutt relinquishing London silver and IOC ugrading his bronze. The Wrestling Federation of India, which is in no mood to let go of the upgrade, is yet to get the official conformation on the upgrade from both IOC and United World Wrestling (UWW)—the world body.

“Its fine to get emotional about this, but he has no choice. Even Dutt's own old sample from the London 2012 Games will be retested. Once that is cleared, UWW will get the go ahead to upgrade his bronze to silver. There is still some way to go here,” said an official of the federation.

One Tuesday, it was learnt that late Kudukhov, freestyle wrestler from Russia who had won the silver in the 60kg category, was stripped of his medal after his old sample from 2012 Games was retested by World Anti Doping Agency ahead of Rio Games.

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