July 25, 2016 7:59:14 pm
The doping scandal that has virtually ruled Narsingh Yadav out of Olympics today took a sinister twist with the grappler alleging that a SAI official was part of the “conspiracy” to frame him even as the national federation threw its weight firmly behind him.
A day after it was revealed that Narsingh and his roommate Sandeep Yadav had tested positive for banned anabolic steroid methandienone, the Wrestling Federation of India stood by the wrestler, insisting that a conspiracy was at play to stop him from going to Rio.
WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh today said Narsingh has submitted a written complaint, naming a SAI Sonepat official and also made allegations against a few others, including players.
“Narsingh Yadav has submitted a written complaint to the WFI on July 19, in which he has mentioned name of one SAI official and also made allegations against a few other people, including players,” Singh told reporters here.
“In a span of one month, there have been three dope tests conducted on Narsingh and that raises a lot of suspicion. Moreover, even his room partner Sandeep Yadav has tested positive for the same substance,” he added.
A defiant Narsingh demanded a CBI probe into the scandal. “There should be a CBI inquiry. The whole episode relating to my selection had gone to court. There was a CID report that my life is under threat. All this makes it clear that I have been framed so that I am stopped from going to Rio,” Narsingh said.
WATCH VIDEO: Narsingh Yadav Dope Controversy Hearing At NADA
“I have given my complaint to the federation in which I have made it clear that something could have been mixed in the food that was prepared at the mess. It is a conspiracy against me,” he added.
The WFI chief said Narsingh’s complaint has been forwarded to the Sports Ministry as well. “The day Narsingh gave the written complaint, I straightaway intimated the Sports Ministry and other important people in the government of India. The government has taken it seriously and a committee of eminent people has been formed who are looking into the matter. I also informed World Wrestling body FILA and NADA about the entire conspiracy. “I am in constant touch with the world body and have been updating them about every development,” he said.
Sports Minister Vijay Goel said the government will adhere to the World Anti-Doping code and will try to find a solution within its ambit. “NADA is an autonomous body established under the WADA Code to promote clean sports and check doping. In Narsingh’s case, we will ensure that WADA Code is implemented. We are committed to the WADA Code,” he said at a press conference. “The NADA has disciplinary panels to deal with doping cases. He (Narsingh) will get a fair chance to defend himself and present his case before these panels. There will be justice under the rules and beyond that there is nothing much we can do in this case,” said the minister who took charge this month.
“Both of Narsingh’s A and B dope samples have returned positive. He has been placed under provisional suspension and that is why I said India will be represented by 119 athletes,” the minister said when asked if Narshing still has a chance to take the Rio flight.
The WFI President, meanwhile, revealed that Narsingh was warned by Sports Authority of India (SAI) DG Injeti Srinivas against going to Sonepat for the camp but the grappler chose to ignore the caution.
“After Haryana police gave a report that Narsingh is in danger, SAI DG personally requested Narsingh not to go to Sonepat and practice somewhere else. But he refused, saying that the chief coach, foreign coach and other Rio probables are there. And he would also get sparring partners easily,” said Singh.
“I feel DG SAI was right in giving him a warning. But since nothing like this had ever happened earlier, we also did not take the warning too seriously,” admitted Singh. Asked if someone would replace Narsingh for the Rio games if he is not cleared of the charges on Wednesday, Singh said: “WFI will consult with the chief coach and take his opinion on who is fit to go. In India, we have a huge talent pool and I am sure someone good can replace Narsingh.”
The 26-year-old Narsingh, who would be pleading innocence in front of the NADA panel that is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, is hopeful that he would be able to convince the committee members that the entire episode is a conspiracy.
“I am hopeful that everything will be clear soon. I have got the 100 per cent backing of everyone. I am still hopeful of going to Rio,” 26-year-old wrestler said.
Interestingly, Narsingh was selected for the Rio Olympics in controversial circumstances as double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar had also staked his claim to represent the country in 74kg freestyle and demanded a trial. But Narsingh was chosen by the Wrestling Federation of India as he had earned the Olympic quota in the World Championships last year with a bronze medal finish.
On his part, Sushil said the dope scandal surrounding Narsingh was “unfortunate”. Reacting to the controversy, Sushil said he will always support his fellow grapplers.
“very unfortunate 2 see the Wrestling go through this. I hv given my life to ot (sic) & wl always support fellow wrestlers,” Sushil tweeted above a 20-second video message. Without referring to the incident, Sushil said, “I wanted to win a third medal for India but for the past one month, I have been away from preparations for Olympics. I have instead been supporting my fellow wrestlers in the hope that they would bring a medal for the country.”
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