Frank Molinaro was all set to enter this week’s USA Wrestling World Team Trials in Lincoln, Nebraska as the top seed in the challenge tournament to face U.S. Open champion Jordan Oliver for the spot.
On Thursday, those plans changed. After an alleged doping violation by Oliver, USA Wrestling announced that Molinaro would in turn be named the U.S. Open champion at 65 kilograms and would advance to sit in the finals and meet the winner of the challenge tournament he no longer has to compete in.
.@GorillaHulk149 named 2017 U.S. Open champion at 65 kg and advances to World Team Trials finals series https://t.co/MvIuseIk23 pic.twitter.com/eifqAR5L6H— USA Wrestling (@USAWrestling) June 8, 2017
Oliver initially won the U.S. Open by besting Molinaro in the finals and current Penn State wrestler Zain Retherford in the semifinals. Now it seems that result has been called into question.
With Molinaro sitting in the finals, Retherford may now be the top seed in the challenge tournament and will undoubtedly be the favorite to challenge Molinaro in what would be an all-Penn State best two-out-of-three final to represent the United States later this summer in Paris at the 2017 World Championships.
You can read the full report from USA Wrestling here.