An Indian wrestler says he will give up his Olympic silver medal out of respect for his late Russian opponent

That’s how you play the game.
That’s how you play the game.
Image: Reuters/Suhaib Salem
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An Indian wrestler, who may get his Olympic medal from four years ago upgraded, has displayed heartwarming sportsmanship and respect for his deceased opponent.

Yogeshwar Dutt, whose bronze medal in the 60kg wrestling event from the 2012 London Olympics is slated to be upgraded, has said that the silver medal deserved to stay with the family of the late Besik Kudukhov of Russia.

On Aug. 31, the 33-year-old native of the northern Indian state of Haryana took to Twitter to say that being compassionate was his priority and, if possible, the Russian wrestler’s family should keep the medal as a sign of respect.

In the 2012 Olympics, Kudukhov defeated Dutt and went on to win a silver medal. The Russian wrestler died in a car crash a year later.

However, a massive probe by the World Anti-Doping Agency into allegations of the use of banned substances by sportspersons, particularly among Russian athletes, has made way for a rejig of the London Olympics winners. The probe revealed the astounding extent of doping in the years leading up to the 2012 Olympics and beyond, allegedly sponsored by the Russian government itself.

Thus, on Aug. 30, Dutt announced on Twitter that his 2012 medal was set to be upgraded, though he himself has to first clear the new doping tests.

In another tweet on Aug. 31, Dutt expressed regret at the results of Kudukhov’s test, calling him a great wrestler.

Indeed, the Russian was an extremely talented sportsman, winning four world titles and two Olympic medals before his untimely death at the age of 27.