India loses one Tokyo wrestling quota after Sumit Malik fails dope test

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Sumit Malik, a heavyweight boxer, was tested with a banned ingredient during last month's Olympic qualifying tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Sumit Malik was one of the athletes who unveiled the Indian uniform at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday afternoon. Later that evening, it emerged that the fighter might not donate the green jersey himself.

On the day it was reported that one of the Olympic wrestlers had abandoned the dope test, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) confirmed Malik. The heavyweight champion was tested with a banned ingredient during last month's Olympic qualifying tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

United World Wrestling (UWW), the sport's governing body, suspended the 28-year-old for six months on Thursday. Even though the procedure is over by then, his chances of competition seem slim. And as the failed test took place during the qualifying tournament, India will lose a quota of the 125kg category.

WFI secretary VN Prasood said they had been notified of Malik's alleged doping violation on Thursday night.

UWW suspended him, and India also lost its rating in that category. It's unfortunate," Prasad said.

The grappler, a product of Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi, had won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and silver at the Asian Championship the previous year.

Malik, who did not respond to a call, was tested with a stimulant called methylhexanamine. One of the first cases reported using the drug involved Yohan Blake. The athlete was one of five Jamaican athletes diagnosed with the disease in 2009.

Since then, hundreds of athletes, including several at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, have been tested and found to have the drug because it was widely available in supplements. Once used as a nasal decongestant, the drug helps athletes increase their weight loss and make the weight loss process more accessible.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has classified the drug as a 'prescribed' drug, meaning that if an athlete were to show that the use was not intentional, he could escape a reduction in the sentence.

Malik was one of eight Indian athletes who qualified for the Olympics. He did so by entering the final qualifying tournament finals in Sofia, battling injuries and battling with one leg.

Entering the tournament, Malik said he suffered a knee injury he sustained during a national camp. Pain, he said, was one of the reasons he was unable to secure a share in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in April.

A few weeks ago, he reached the qualifying finals in Bulgaria and booked an assignment. However, he admitted the latter cited the same injury. Malik was one of the players to participate in the tournament in Warsaw, Poland, later this month. However, his name was withdrawn from the squad.

This is a straightforward Olympics where Indian wrestling failed the dope test. In 2016, Narsingh Yadav, who entered the 74kg category, was unable to compete in the Rio Games after he also tested the excellent weeks before the opening ceremony.

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