his opponent's illegal move became a talking point.
Indian wrestler Ravi Dahiya was bitten by his opponent during his semi-final bout on his way to a silver medal.
The 23-year-old became only the second Indian wrestler to win a silver medal at the Olympics.
In the men’s freestyle 57kg final on August 5, 2021, Dahiya took on current world champion Zavur Uguev.
Dahiya battled well but ultimately lost 7-4 to the Russian.
He had lost to Uguev at the 2019 World Championship also.
The wrestler from Haryana had outclassed Colombia’s Tigreros Urbano in his first match and then defeated Bulgaria’s Georgi Valentinov Vangelov in the quarterfinals.
But it was his semi-final match against Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev which attracted the most attention.
He trailed 9-2 but showed determination to score a last-minute pin and advance to the gold medal match.
Although his win was a massive achievement, his opponent’s illegal move became a talking point.
Close-up footage showed Ravi Dahiya attempting to pin Sanayev.
Whilst doing so, Sanayev is clearly seen sinking his teeth into the Indian wrestler’s arm for a prolonged period of time.
After scoring the pin, Dahiya got up to show the referee the bite marks.
The aftermath showed Dahiya with deep bite marks on his right arm.
Noor Islam doing what he could do the best. pic.twitter.com/qFaxy8E6MT
— Aaj Ki Taza Khabar (youtube channel) (@AKTKadmin) August 4, 2021
Despite the injury, a member of the Indian wrestling team’s support staff had said that Dahiya would be ready for the final.
“It was paining when Ravi returned from the mat but he was given an ice-pack and he is fine.
“The pain has subsided. He is fit for final, no problem at all.”
According to the rules framed by the world governing body UWW, the chapter Prohibition and Illegal Holds article 48 states that wrestlers are forbidden to pull the hair, ears, genitals, pinch the skin, bite, twist fingers or toes of their opponents.
The wrestlers are barred to perform actions, gestures or holds with the intention of torturing the opponent or making him suffer to force him to withdraw.
And if found guilty, the wrestlers can be penalised.
The rule states: “These general prohibitions are sanctioned based on the severity of the foul (disqualification, caution-1 (2) point or verbal warning).
“Disciplinary sanctions might also be applied after the competition against the athlete at fault.”
Sanayev’s clear attempt to cheat went viral and social media users were not happy.
One person said: “Wtf?! Dude should be kicked outta the Olympics?!!!
“Kicked outta the sport for that matter. Is this how dude wins, by biting his opponent?!!”
Another said: “Shameful.”
Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda praised Ravi Dahiya for continuing to push for the win despite the bite.
He said: “Super that he didn’t give up his hold to protest the bite and got his touch down before pointing it out to the referee.. they didn’t pay kuch attention.”
How unfair is this , couldn’t hit our #RaviDahiya ‘s spirit, so bit his hand. Disgraceful Kazakh looser Nurislam Sanayev.
Ghazab Ravi , bahut seena chaunda kiya aapne #Wrestling pic.twitter.com/KAVn1Akj7F
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 4, 2021
The UWW later concluded:
“It was concluded that the action taken was an unintentional reaction.
“Based on the discussion and review of the incident no disciplinary action will be taken based on the conclusion of the incident.”