05 Jun 2021: Sumit Malik fails dope test, set to lose Olympic quota
Indian wrestler Sumit Malik, on Friday, failed a dope test, which was conducted by United World Wrestling (UWW), during the World Olympic Qualifiers held in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Delhi-based heavyweight wrestler, who had grabbed an Olympic berth in men's 125 kg freestyle event in Sofia, has been provisionally suspended. He might be banned from the sport if his second sample also returns positive.
Competition: Malik withdrew from the World Olympic Qualifiers semis
In the Olympic Qualifiers semi-finals, the Indian wrestler had defeated Venezuela's Jose Daniel Diaz 5-0 to set up a title clash with Sergei Kozyrev. However, he withdrew from the final due to an injury. Notably, the finalist in each weight category during the Olympic Qualifiers in Sofia were eligible to win quota places for Tokyo Olympics, starting July 23.
Injury: Malik suffered the injury ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers
Malik has been nursing a knee injury that he initially suffered during the national camp before the Olympic Qualifiers. He had competed at the Asian Qualifiers in April, but couldn't earn the Olympic quota. Although Malik competed at the Asian Championship at the same venue eventually, he returned sans a medal. He finally succeeded at the World Olympic Qualifiers before withdrawing from the final.
Medicine: Malik might have taken medicines that contained banned substances
A source monitoring the development revealed that Malik might have consumed medicines to treat his injury. "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. He added, "But these wrestlers should have been careful, they know the risks involved by taking such medicines."
Drug: Malik tested positive for a stimulant called methylhexanamine
Malik tested positive for a stimulant called methylhexanamine. In 2009, Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake was one of the five athletes who tested positive for the substance. Ever since, quite a few athletes, including several at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, have been banned for using the drug. Notably, the drug helps athletes increase their metabolic rate, and make the weight reduction process easier.
Fact: WADA has classified methylhexanamine as a 'specified' substance
The drug Methylhexanamine is commonly found in supplements. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has classified it as a 'specified' substance. This means the athletes can get away with a reduced sanction if they can prove that its use was unintentional.
Tokyo Olympics: Malik's hearing unlikely to take place before the Tokyo Games
In 2016, Narsingh Yadav, who had qualified (74 kg category) for the Rio Olympics, could not compete as he had tested positive for the same. Malik, who was among eight Indian wrestlers to gain Olympic qualification, could miss out too as his hearing is unlikely to take place before the Tokyo Games. At the moment, he remains provisionally suspended for six months.
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