Rio Olympics 2016: Babita Kumari's berth in 53kg Freestyle Wrestling under threat
In an unforeseen turn of events, two-time Commonwealth medallist Babita Kumari’s participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has become uncertain after her previously disqualified opponent Sumiya Erdenechimeg of Mongolia from the Asian Qualification Tournament was handed a clean chit by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) earlier today.
The Mongolian grappler had sealed her Rio berth with a 15-8 victory over India’s Babita in the semifinals of the 53 kg freestyle event at the Asian Qualifiers held in March. Subsequently, she had failed a dope test by the WADA when she tested positive for samples of the prohibited drug Meldonium, which enabled the latter to get her name in India’s Rio roster.
However, as per the latest swing in WADA’s position with respect to the legality of the drug’s usage, Sumiya has been cleared by the governing body of United World Wrestling (UWW) to represent her nation at Rio which raises a huge question mark over the Indian wrestler’s Olympic ambitions.
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.”
With Sumiya reclaiming her spot in the upcoming tournament, Babita might eventually have to miss out on the same since the present situation remains complicated and unanswered by the UWW, who had confirmed the 26-year-old wrestler from Bhiwani that she would be featuring in her discipline at Rio 2016.