Australia's Kumar to fight doping ban: coach

Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:40am EDT
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian wrestler Vinod Kumar has hired lawyers in a bid to clear his name and compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after he was hit with a four-year ban for failing a doping test during a qualification event.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said it had asked the national wrestling federation to drop the 31-year-old from its Olympic team after he tested positive for a banned substance following the African/Oceania qualifier in Algiers.

India-born Kumar was to compete in the 66-kg division of Greco-Roman wrestling in Rio.

His coach, Kostya Ermakovich, told Reuters that Kumar, who was training in Germany, was devastated and had no idea how he had failed the test.

"You should see how upset he is," Ermakovich told Reuters by telephone. "He’s really depressed. He’s 100 percent sure he didn’t do anything wrong.

"He's got lawyers to fight this for him.

"We're going to appeal because we don’t know what’s going on."

The AOC said both Kumar's A and B samples had tested positive but declined to name the substance.   Continued...

Wrestler Vinod Kumar is pictured during a workout session at a gym in Melbourne, Australia, May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Ian Ransom