In a jolt to India’s campaign in the wrestling world championship, 57kg freestyle wrestler Shubham has failed the dope test. According to a Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) official, the wrestler tested for usage of diuretics which is banned by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
“He tested positive for doping. He can still appeal to the National Anti-Doping Agency if he wishes to,” WFI official told Sportskeeda exclusively.
Sportskeeda tried contacting NADA for comment but the national body declined to respond.
However, NADA, in its notice, clarified that the wrestler did not take prior permission to consume the banned substance.
Shubham was tested after he claimed a spot in Olympic silver medalist Ravi Dahiya’s weight category for the wrestling world championships. He defeated Pankaj at the selection trials for the big-ticket competition scheduled to take place in Oslo, Norway from October 2 to 10.
Now with Shubham out, WFI will send Pankaj as a replacement.
“We have finally got the paperwork done so Pankaj will leave for Oslo tonight,” WFI official said.
Litmus test for Pankaj at wrestling world championships
All eyes will be on Pankaj as he carries a lot of expectations at the wrestling world championships. He will be filling the big shoes of Ravi Dahiya in Oslo in a depleted weight category.
India had won bronze at the 2019 Worlds – last wrestling world championships before the Tokyo Olympics – and would like to continue the medal run.
Pankaj will face stiff competition from Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Thomas Gilman (USA) and world silver medalist Suleyman Atli (TUR). Gilman and Atli are likely to be the top contenders for gold in Oslo. Bekhbayar Erdenebat (MGL) is also entered and will try to spoil the party.