Yogeshwar Dutt

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Graphic courtesy: The Times of India
Yogeshwar Dutt in July 2016, just before the Rio Olympics

This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.


A profile

Kunal Pradhan , Mat Demon “India Today” 1/8/2016

Wrestling, men's freestyle 65 kg

Achievements: 2 CWG golds, 1 Asian Games gold

Previous olympics: Bronze at London 2012

Relationship status

Olympian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt got engaged+ to daughter of a Congress leader on October 9 in Sonepat. (The Times of India, Oct 17, 2016)

Vital statistics

28-inched at the waist,

Body Mass Index (BMI) 6

Speaking his mind

On the Salman-Olympics ambassador issue. It was Yogeshwar who waded in headlong when the actor was controversially appointed goodwill ambassador for the Indian Olympic contingent, questioning why no sportsman was seen fit enough to be accorded the honour. He commented, “Shaaddi kisi ki, baraati koi, aur dulha koi.“

On the Sushil-Narsingh Yadav issue (which went to the High Court, which ruled against Sushil, on who should represent India at Rio) “We don't speak to each other anymore,“ he says simply, a hint of a lisp adding to the accent, on the broken friendship with Sushil. “It was a long friendship, but that's not the case anymore. I haven't had the time also to mend any broken bridges and I just want to focus on myself. I haven't wished badly on anyone till now, and I think I'm fine where I am, so I haven't spoken to Sushil about mending things..

But it is also his strangely controversial stands, especially his poem on the JNU-Govt stand-off following the Afzal Guru sloganeering, make him something of a Twitter-vigilante, or a loose cannon, depending on where you stand. Ironically, it makes him perhaps the only Indian sportsman who speaks out on issues, while the sense of the misguided is a throwback to the ways of the man whose appointment as his Olympic contingent's brand am bassador he so memorably ques tioned.


“The day I won that bronze in London, I set myself a target, which was to claim gold at the Olympics. I wasn't satisfied with third place, and if I wanted to win gold in 2016 in Rio, I would have to begin preparations immediately . Before 2012, the dream was to just win an Olympic medal, and that disappointment of not getting gold in London has spurred me on to this day,“ he says.

For someone who only first learnt of Olympics as an idea when Leander Paes won the bronze in 1996, Yogeshwar himself is a veteran of sorts. Rio will be his fourth Games and turning into a monk each time comes naturally to him now. “I had three operations in 2015, and I was out of action for almost the whole year, but when I was injured or free from training, I was just thinking about how to prepare for Rio, how to build my legs, how to improve my strength. I also changed my weight category from 60kg to 65kg. But I did win gold at the 2014 Asian Games, and gold at any other event that I participated in. That gave me the confidence that I can do well in the 65kg category.

“After the 2014 Asian Games gold, I made quite a few changes. My diet, then I started avoiding lots of things. I never went out much anyways. I rarely went home, maybe on Sundays I'd go and meet my mother and house-folk for 2, 3 hours, then I'd sleep and leave for the training centre in the morning. Talk is less. I've even asked them not to come to meet me unless there is an emergency . My phone is also switched off, and I only use it if some important work comes up.


“Kuch paane ke liye, kuch khona padta hai,“ he informs us. He says, as part of a carb-free diet, he hasn't eaten a roti in nearly two months now; there is paneer and fruits without the juice to eliminate the sugar intake. His diet is bland, he hates it, but he does it.

2012: Bronze medal in Olympics

The Times of India, Aug 1, 2016

Aditya Bhattacharya

In the countdown to the 2016 Rio Olympics, we retrace some memorable Indian moments at the quadrennial games. Here, a look at Yogeshwar Dutt's bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

For Yogeshwar Dutt, his struggle from the mud-covered rings of his village in Haryana to representing India at the highest level has been nothing short of inspirational. After his lukewarm Olympic debut in Athens, where he stood 18th in the men's freestyle category, and the quarter-final exit in Beijing four years later, Yogeshwar's moment in the sun arrived at the 2012 London Olympics, where he pinned Jong Myong Ri of North Korea and bagged a bronze medal in the 60-kg freestyle event.

Yogeshwar provided India a fifth medal in the quadrennial games, thus becoming the third Indian wrestler to win an Olympic medal after K D Jadhav in 1952 and Sushil Kumar in 2008 and 2012. It was truly a lion-hearted effort keeping in mind the hurdles he had cleared on his way to the podium finish. Two years ago, at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, Yogeshwar overcame a career-threatening knee injury to win the 60 kg title. He stayed out of the game for a long time and then bounced back.

In his first repechage round, Yogeshwar was slightly lucky on his way to defeating Puerto Rico's Franklin Gomez 1-0, 1-0, having won the toss twice. He then beat Iranian wrestler Masoud Esmaeilpour 7-5, whom he had lost to in the Asian qualifications earlier that year. Yogeshwar was aggressive from the beginning. He won the first round by a 'clinch' and in subsequent rounds, uses his muscle and mass to tackle down the Iranian.

He finally beat his North Korean opponent to clinch the bronze medal (0-1, 1-0, 6-0). He earned three quick points in the third repechage round against as Yogeshwar showed displayed tremendous inner strength to win. Moreover, he clinched it in just 1:02 minutes. It was a phenomenal effort. And today, four years after London, among the 121 athletes from India, Yogeshwar is one of India's best hopes for a medal at the Rio Olympics.


The Times of India

Dec 31 2014


The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had copped criticism after it picked Yogeshwar Dutt for the Commonwealth Games without a selection trial. The criticism seemed justified as Dutt had not taken part in many events since the 2012 London Olympics and had also changed his weight category ­ from 60kg to 65kg. But the wrestler proved his detractors wrong by claiming the gold in Glasgow, winning all his contests including the final without conceding even a single point. At the Incheon Asiad, a determined Dutt bagged the nation's first wrestling gold since Kartar Singh's triumph in 1986 in Seoul.


Zero at Rio; London upgraded? No

Olympic gold for Yogeshwar Dutt? Maybe not, Ritu Sejwal | TNN The Times of India | Sep 3, 2016

London Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt returned home from Rio Olympics without making much of an impact, bowing out at the first hurdle. However, even as he tried to shake off the disappointment, came the news that his [2012] London Games bronze medal, won in the 60kg freestyle category, could be upgraded to silver. The urine sample of the silver medallist, Russia's Besik Kudokhov, had returned positive for a banned substance.

Kudokhov had died in a car crash in 2013 but his samples - like others' - were kept frozen according to World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) rules. According to new rules the samples are preserved for 10 years and retested regularly to catch dope cheats who had escaped the net at the time of the competition.

Then, even as congratulatory messages streamed in, came another media report -his silver could be upgraded to a gold medal because now the sample of Azerbaijan's Toghrul Asgarov, who won the gold in London, had tested positive. However, "Contrary to news reports, 2012 Olympic gold medalist Togrul ASGAROV (AZE) has never been in violation of UWW's anti-doping policy," the world body tweeted from its official Twitter handle.

Kudukov, who died in a car crash in 2013, had tested positive for a banned steroid when an old sample was retested a few months ago by WADA in its attempt to deter dope cheats. (REUTERS)

Yogeshwar Dutt’s silver medal hopes over, WFI unaware of IOC’s decision PTI, New Delhi | Oct 25, 2016

Indian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt’s chances of the London Olympics medal being upgraded from bronze to silver are all but over but Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) today claimed it was unaware of the development.

With the International Olympic Committee deciding to drop the investigation against the deceased Russian wrestler Besik Kudukov, who won the silver medal in the men’s freestyle 60kg category at the 2012 Games, bronze medallist Yogeshwar’s hopes of getting his medal upgraded has evaporated.

Kudukov, who died in a car crash in 2013, had tested positive for a banned steroid when an old sample was retested a few months ago by WADA in its attempt to deter dope cheats.

In a statement, the Russian Wrestling Federation has claimed that his sample from the 2012 Games was retested this year and found to be positive for the steroid turinabol, and his case was passed to a three-member IOC disciplinary commission. However, the committee has decided to terminate the investigation against Kudukhov.

“The International Olympic Committee will not deprive wrestler Besik Kudukhov of his silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London,” vice president of the United World Wrestling, Georgy Bryusov, also the first deputy president of the Russian Wrestling Federation, said in the statement.

But Wrestling Federation of India said that it was yet to get any information regarding the new development.

“We do not have any information about his medal not being upgraded,” WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar said.

“Before the Rio Olympics, we had been told that Kudukhov had tested positive for banned substance and Yogeshwar’s 2012 London Olympics samples would be tested before deciding to upgrade his bronze to silver. But after that we have not got any update on the matter till date,” the official added.

The IOC has been re-testing samples taken from both 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as the 2012 London Games and other international tournaments, using up-to-date methods to detect banned substances.

When the news of Kudukhov testing positive first surfaced and there was a chance of Yogeshwar’s bronze medal be upgraded to silver, the Indian wrestler had refused to accept the medal, saying it should remain with the family of the deceased grappler.

“If possible he must be allowed to keep the medal. It will keep his family’s honour intact. For me humanity is above everything else,” Dutt had tweeted.

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