Sumit Malik, the Olympic-bound Indian Wrestler has been provisionally suspended as he failed a dope test, conducted in Bulgaria, during the recent Qualifiers, becoming a case of major embarrassment for the country. There are only a few more weeks left before the Games begin in Tokyo.
This happens to be the second consecutive time that a wrestler was caught in a dope net before the Olympics, explaining the level of embarrassment. The previous instance happened in the year 2016, in the Rio Olympics, where Narsingh Pancham Yadav was caught and got himself slapped with a ban of four years.
Malik is the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist and was qualified to enter the Tokyo Olympics in the 125kg category at the Bulgaria event, which had been the last chance that the wrestlers had to earn quotas. Needless to say, it now seems that the wrestler’s dream to compete at the Olympics, which starts from the 23rd of July, is as good as over with this incident.
A WFI source told PTI, “The UWW (United World Wrestling) informed the Wrestling Federation of India yesterday that Sumit has failed the dope test. Now he has to give his B sample on June 10.”
Sumit Malik had suffered a knee injury during the national camp before the Olympic Qualifiers had begun at the different venues, and has been nursing it since.
The wrestler had competed at the Asian Qualifiers in Almaty in April but did not succeed in earning the quota.
He also competed at the Asian Championship which was held at the same venue but returned with a medal-less performance.
However, in May, at the World Olympic Qualifiers in Sofia, Malik succeeded in earning the quota by reaching the final round but had to forfeit due to the same injury.
Malik was also planning to skip the exposure trip to Poland that the WFI had arranged for its Tokyo-bound group, in order to let his injured knee completely heal before the Olympics begun.
The source said, “He must have taken something unknowingly. Maybe he was taking some Ayurvedic medicine to treat his injured knee and that might have contained some banned substances.”
They also added, “But these wrestlers should have been careful, they know the risks involved by taking such medicines.”
The scenario is very serious, as if Malik’s B sample also returns positive, it could get him banned from the sport.
He, however, does have the right to challenge the suspicion, but it seems to be very clear that by the time the hearing would take place and a verdict be received, he would have already lost his chance of competing at the Olympics.
India has, in total, earned eight wrestling quotas for the Tokyo edition of the Games with four men and as many women wrestlers qualifying.