Coleman Scott at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Four years after U.S. men's freestyle wrestler Coleman Scott won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, it may be possible that he may end up with a substantial upgrade: a gold medal four years later.
Scott, now head wrestling coach at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, was one of two bronze medal winners at 60 kilograms/132 pounds, along with Yogeshwar Dutt of India. However, a number of media reports out of India are reporting that either Scott or Dutt may receive the gold because of recent reports concerning the gold and silver medal winners.
On Monday, it was announced that silver medalist Besik Kudukhov of Russia -- who was killed in a car crash in 2013 -- had tested positive for banned substances, and would be stripped of his 2012 Olympic silver medal.
Now there are reports that 2012 Olympic gold medalist Toghrul Asgarov of Azerbaijan has also been found guilty of using a banned drug this week. Asgarov also won a silver medal in men's freestyle at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro at 65 kilograms/143 pounds.
The tests are being done by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a part of its revised "retrospective testing" policy. Under the policy, the blood and urine samples of athletes, collected from international tournaments, are kept in deep freeze for up to 10 years for re-testing with the help of advanced technology. The WADA has been re-testing the samples of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Games.
That re-testing of Asgarov's samples from the London Games have shown traces of a banned substance in his body and is likely to be stripped of his medal by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
However, there is no official confirmation from WADA or the United World Wrestling (UWW) on the subject, the Tribune of India reported Friday.
The Tribune of India goes on to state that, according to the UWW rules, the gold medal should go to Scott, who was defeated by Asgarov during the preliminary stage and had later settled for bronze after winning his repechage round. Scott was also in the top half of the draw with Asgarov and has the first claim on the gold.
TheHindu.com reports that there is no precedent of both finalists in wrestling testing positive.
Asked about the possibility of being upgraded as a gold medal winner, Yogeshwar was quoted by DNAIndia.com as saying, "I have heard about these reports, but, according to me, I will only be getting the silver medal. We (Scott and Yogeshwar) were two bronze medalists. I had qualified through repechage and lost to the silver medalist. The other bronze medal winner, Coleman Scott of the United States, should get the gold because he lost to the eventual champion. Thus, I don't think my silver will be upgraded to gold. However, I am yet to receive any formal information about this and I am only saying what I feel."
If Coleman Scott were to receive a gold medal now for his performance four years ago, he would join fellow Team USA men's freestyle wrestlers Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner who won Olympic championships in London.