SHOCKING! Star wrestler Narsingh Yadav fails dope test, Rio participation doubtful
Narsingh was selected for the Rio Olympics in controversial circumstances.
New Delhi: Barely 10 days before the start of the Olympics, India suffered a huge embarrassment as 74kg freestyle wrestler Narsingh Yadav failed a dope test conducted by NADA, a development which has cast doubt on his participation in Rio Games.
National Anti-Doping Director General Navin Agarwal confirmed that Narsingh's 'B' sample also tested positive for a banned steroid and he appeared before a NADA disciplinary panel on Saturday.
"Yes, he (Narsingh) tested positive for a banned steroid. His B sample was also found to be positive. Narsingh was personally present when his B sample was opened," NADA DG told PTI on Sunday.
"He appeared before a disciplinary panel yesterday. The panel sought for more reports regarding the matter. We will proceed further and I am hoping that the panel will proceed quickly. Till then we will have to wait," he added.
Asked if Narsingh will miss the Rio Olympics, Agarwal said, "It is too early to comment in that regard. We will try to complete the whole thing quickly. I cannot speculate on that."
Interestingly, Narsingh was selected for the Rio Olympics in controversial circumstances as double Olympic medallist Sushil Singh had also staked his claim to represent the country in 74kg freestyle.
But Narsingh was favoured as he had earned the Olympic quota in the World Championships last year.
Narsingh had to fight a lengthy legal battle with two-time Olympics medallist Sushil, also in the same category, to get the chance to compete for India at the Olympics.
"After the hearing, the panel has asked NADA for some further reports. After these reports are received, the panel would hold further hearing in the matter. ADDP is headed by a legal expert and includes doctors and sportspersons. NADA is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to check doping in sports," the Ministry stated.
"India is committed to the World Anti-Doping code and follows prescribed procedures. Government does not interfere in the day-to-day functioning of NADA and is committed to total transparency and objectivity in matters relating to doping," it added.
Indian Olympic Association Secretary General Rajeev Mehta, on the other hand, ruled out the possibility of Sushil benefitting from the episode, saying that the last date for sending Olympic entries, July 18, is well behind them now.
"As far as Sushil Kumar is concerned, I think there is practically no chance for him (to replace Narsingh). Everything is closed as far as entry of athletes is concerned," he said.
WFI sources said Narsingh had been discouraged from attending the preparatory camp in Sonepat given the acrimony leading up to his selection in the Olympic team.
"But he still went ahead," said the source. Narsingh's sponsors JSW Sports backed the 26-year-old.
"This is someone playing dirty - we are getting it sorted. He is a biggest hopeful - he is shaken up - sad how in India we can't even allow our athletes to train in peace," JSW Cement MD tweeted.