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International Wrestling

Artur Taymazov and Besik Kudukhov Stripped of Olympic Medals

Artur Taymazov - UZB

FloWrestling reports that Artur Taymazov (UZB) and Besik Kudukhov (RUS) are among the wrestlers that will be stripped of medals won at the Beijing and London Olympics after samples were re-tested with modern technology.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), in their ongoing fight against doping in sport, have routinely re-tested samples given by athletes years after competition concludes. The rationale is simple. An athlete may be taking something that current technology cannot detect. However, with the proper preservation of their sample, when testing technology catches up, there can be some measure of justice meted out years after the fact. While this is not an ideal situation, it is better than never catching these athletes at all.

In this case, Artur Taymazov, who was a three-time Olympic gold medalist and TOM’s #1 freestyle wrestling Olympian of all-time, will lose his gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Games. It is interesting to note that he also won gold in 2012. At this time it is not clear whether that sample was re-tested, but it seems likely that it was. There will be much more to this story moving forward.

Russia’s Bakhtiyar Akhmedov lost to Taymazov in the 2008 gold medal match so he will now be recognized as the Olympic champion. David Musul’bes (SVK) should be awarded the silver medal and Disney Rodriguez (CUB) should now be awarded the bronze medal. This, of course, robs those athletes of their moment of glory, not to mention potential award money and endorsements, but at least they will be recognized at last.

Besik Kudukhov will be stripped of his silver medal from London 2012. The four-time world champion Kudukhov was tragically killed in a car accident in late 2013. Now he will lose his highest ever placing at the Olympic Games. Yogeshwar Dutt (IND) should be elevated to the silver medal while Ri Jong-Myong (PRK) should receive bronze.

With more names to be released, the wrestling world, along with the rest of the sporting universe, will just have to wait and see which athletes have been caught now. We should no longer be surprised when anyone tests positive as there is simply no way to know who the clean athletes are in a given competition.

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