Will Yogeshwar's bronze turn gold?

Reports suggested Yogeshwar Dutt could be India's second individual gold medalist after Abhinav Bindra. However, it may not be so easy for the 33-year-old wrestler to get the gold medal.

Yogeshwar Dutt kisses his medal on the podium of the Men's 60kg Freestyle on August 11, 2012.   -  AFP

The medal saga around Olympian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt refuses to end. After reports of his bronze medal being upgraded to silver at the London Olympics in 2012 earlier this week, Friday saw reports claiming Yogeshwar could even get gold as Toghrul Asgarov, the gold medallist in London Olympics from Azerbaijan, had tested positive for prohibited substances.

But the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) claimed to have no information about it.

According to the reports, Yogeshwar could become India's second individual gold medalist after Abhinav Bindra. However, it may not be so easy even if Asgarov does test positive.

For one, there is no precedent of both finalists in wrestling testing positive and so the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United World Wrestling, the world body, would have to decide on the future course.

Also, Asgarov had defeated the other bronze medalist, USA’s Coleman Scott, in the semifinal en route to his gold. So, as per repechage rules in wrestling, it would be Scott who would get the first right to be upgraded. The same rule was followed in the case of Yogeshwar, who had lost to silver medalist late Besik Kudukhov of Russia before winning bronze.

Since Scott could not possibly be upgraded to a gold directly from bronze now, it remains to be seen how the IOC decides to reallocate the medals. Experts suggest a relook at both the bronze-medal winning bouts and decide on the basis of technical points and other scores to decide the medalists.

All this would, however, happen only after official confirmation of Asgarov’s positive test and clean chits to Yogeshwar and Scott in the re-tests.