His hopes of competing in the Olympics over, Indian wrestler Sumit Malik was on Friday banned for two years by the sport's world governing body UWW after his B sample also returned positive for a prohibited stimulant. The 28-year-old has one week to decide if he would accept the sanction or challenge it.
Malik was handed a provisional suspension last month for failing a dope test during the World Olympic Qualifier event in Sofia, where he had qualified for the Tokyo Games in the 125kg category. His 'B' sample was opened on June 30 and expectedly that also provided the same result. A specified substance was found in Malik's sample, though, the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist had told PTI that he only took painkillers to manage right knee niggle.
"Sumit Malik's B sample has given the same result and the UWW has banned him for two years from June 3. He has a week to respond. He can call for a hearing or accept the sanction," a source in the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) told PTI. Sources close to Rohtak-based Malik said they will soon take a decision. "We are discussing the matter with our lawyer," said the person who is interacting with Malik on the matter.
The general opinion in WFI is that Malik should challenge the sanction since it was not a steroid but a stimulant that was taken inadvertently. Malik has been nursing a knee injury that he suffered during the national camp before the Olympic Qualifiers began at different venues.
He had competed at the Asian Qualifiers in Almaty in April but did not succeed in earning the quota. He then competed at the Asian Championship at the same venue and returned medal-less. However, at the World Olympic Qualifiers in Sofia held in May, Malik earned the quota by reaching the final, which he forfeited due to the same injury. By the time hearing takes place and a verdict comes out, he would miss competing at the Olympics.