New Delhi: With less than a month's time to the start of world's biggest sporting spectacle in Rio de Janeiro, one of India's medal hopes – Babita Kumari – has found herself facing the prospects of missing the 2016 Olympic Games.
Babita, 26, qualified for the quadrennial event after Mongolian wrestler Sumiya Erdenechimeg failed a dope test in the Asian qualifiers in March, where the Indian wrester lost their semi-final bout 15-8 in the semi-finals of women's 53-kg freestyle event.
But the Mongolian grappler tested positive for samples of the prohibited drug Meldonium in a subsequent test conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It paved the way for Babita to compete in the Rio Games as one of the two qualifiers from Asia.
But following a revised decision on the athletes testing positive for the banned substance by WADA, and also with the emerging reports of Sumiya's reinstatement in the Rio Games draw by United World Wrestling (UWW), the Indian wrestler now faces an uncertain future.
As reported by Firstpost, Michel Dusson, the Secretary General of UWW has declared in his communication to the Mongolian Federation:
“Following the first notice of WADA, the result of your wrestler, Sumiya Erdenechimeg had to be cancelled in view of her positive doping result for meldonium during the Asian qualifiers event. Last week WADA used a revised position about meldonium and in accordance with this new notice and due to the circumstances of this particular case, we are now able, in view of her urgency, to reinstate her result. I am therefore glad to inform you that we allocate one spot in women’s 53 kg wrestling to your country.”
But, it's still unclear how the relocation will work as UWW listed Babita as one of the two wrestlers from Asian Qaulifier in the 53-kg.
Worried and perplexed with this latest development, Assistant Secretary of Wrestling Federation of India Vinod Tomar has asked: how UWW can keep Bbaita out?
"UWW had allotted an Olympic spot to Babita and had informed us. How can they keep her out?’’ Tomar was qouted as saying in media reports.
Besides Babita, there two more women wrestlers in Rio – her cousin Vinesh Phogat (48-kg) and Sakshi Malik (58-kg).
Male wrestlerr Sandeep Tomar (57-kg Freestyle), Yogeshwar Dutt (65-kg Freestyle), Narsingh Pancham Yadav (74-kg Freestyle), Ravindra Khatri (85-kg Greco-Roman) and Hardeep Singh (98-kg Greco-Roman) make up the 8-member strong wrestling team.