NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Olympic-bound freestyle wrestler Sumit Malik has been provisionally suspended after failing a dope test in Bulgaria, a senior Indian federation official told Reuters on Friday.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Malik secured his Olympic place in the 125kg category by reaching the final of the qualifier in Sofia last month.
“Sumit has tested positive for a banned substance and has been provisionally suspended by the UWW (United World Wrestling),” Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar told Reuters by telephone.
“His A sample was collected in Bulgaria after the Olympic qualifier and it turned out positive for a banned substance.
“The UWW informed us that his B sample will be tested later, but in 99% cases the results are often the same.”
Tomar did not reveal the substance Malik, 28, had tested positive for but confirmed India were set to lose a quota place in Tokyo.
Eight Indian wrestlers, including four women, had booked their places in Tokyo.
This is a second blow to wrestling’s image in the country following the arrest of two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar in connection with the murder of a fellow wrestler last month.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Toby Davis)