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Wrestler Sumit Malik's Tokyo Olympics participation doubtful following failed dope test

Sumit Malik wrestles in the 125 kg category, having won a gold and a couple of silvers to date. While Tokyo Olympics would have been his first Olympic outing, it remains doubtful now as he has failed in the dope test during the Qualifiers in Bulgaria.

Wrestler Sumit Malik's Tokyo Olympics participation doubtful following failed dope test-ayh
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New Delhi, First Published Jun 4, 2021, 5:56 PM IST
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Indian wrestler Sumit Malik, who was all set to travel to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, has embroiled himself into uncertainty. The 28-year-old wrestler has failed the deop test during the recent Qualifiers in Bulgaria, just weeks before the Olympics.

Malik, who wrestles in the 125 kg category, had qualified during the World Olympic Qualifier in Bulgaria. As of now, he has been provisionally suspended.

"We got a mail from the UWW on Thursday that Sumit has failed the dope test and he has been suspended provisionally. The substance found in his sample is said to be 5-methylhexan-2-amine (1,4-dimethylpentylamine). We are surprised by this. He must have taken it unknowingly; he has a clean track record. Let's wait for the result of his B sample," Vinod Tomar, Wrestling Federation of India secretary, was quoted as saying to PTI.

As for his suspension, sports lawyer Parth Goswami has said that since the substance in question is a specified one, Malik does not need a provisional suspension. "As per the WADA code 2021, in cases where an athlete is found positive for a non-specified substance, the athlete is placed under mandatory provisional suspension till the case is finally decided and during this time athlete cannot compete. However, in a case involving a specified substance, the athlete is given an option of accepting provisional suspension. In case the athlete does not voluntarily take provisional suspension, he/she can participate in competitions till the matter is finally decided by the appropriate panel," he asserted.

Explaining the substance found in Malik's urine, sports medicine expert, Dr Saranjeet Singh said, "It is a specified substance, detectable in urine. It definitely is a stimulant. If his B sample is also positive, he can be banned. Weightlifter Cristofer Martinez had tested positive for the same stimulant and USADA had announced on January 10, 2020, that Martinez has accepted a two-year suspension for an anti-doping rule violation."

Malik reportedly has been trying to recover from a knee injury he suffered at the national camp, ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers. He was also contemplating skipping a trip to Poland, organised by WFI, ahead of the Olympics.

Meanwhile, as for his verdict, he is sure to have missed the Olympics by the time it arrives. However, if the United World Wrestling advances the judgment, Malik could make the right call.

The Tokyo Olympics would be Malik's first outing in the global event. He won the gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games while having twin silvers at the 2017 Asian Championships and 2017 Commonwealth Championships.

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