Olympic bound wrestler Sumit Malik has been provisionally suspended after failing a dope test during Olympic qualifiers in Bulgaria. This is the second consecutive instance when a wrestler has failed a dope test before Olympics. Earlier, Narsingh Pancham Yadav failed the dope test ahead of the Rio Olympics in 2016 and was slapped with a five-year ban. The 2019 Commonwealth games gold medallist Malik had qualified for the Olympics in the 125 KG category. However, his chances of participating in the Tokyo Olympics looks grim at the moment.
“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,” a WFI source told PTI.
Malik is dealing with a knee injury that he suffered during the national camp before the Olympic Qualifiers. He took part in the Asian qualifiers in Almaty in April but failed to bag his spot. Later, he competed in Asian Championship but returned medal less. However, he reached the final of the World Olympic Qualifiers in Sofia and booked a berth for the mega event in Tokyo.
“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,” said the source. “But these wrestlers should have been careful, they know the risks involved by taking such medicines,” he added.
Maik will give another sample on June 10 and if that too returns positive, he can be banned from the sport. He can challenge the suspension but by the time hearings take place, he would miss the chance of participating in the Olympics. Eight Indian wrestlers, four men and as many women have qualified for Tokyo Olympics.