New Delhi: India’s Olympic buildup suffered a colossal jolt today as wrestler Narsingh Yadav, who was picked ahead of the celebrated Sushil Kumar, failed a dope test conducted by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA), virtually ruling him out of the Rio Games next month.
National Anti-Doping Director General Navin Agarwal confirmed that Yadav’s ‘B’ sample also tested positive for a banned substance and he appeared before a NADA disciplinary panel yesterday. Sources said that he had returned positive for methandienone – a banned anabolic steroid.
“Yes, he [Yadav] 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,” the NADA director general told PTI.
“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 Yadav 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.”
However, sources close to Yadav and in the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) have cried foul, claiming that the entire episode seems to be a conspiracy.
“It is a sabotage, foul play. Narsingh has a very clean history. it is clearly a conspiracy against him. Decision on the representation in 74 kg is to be taken later but in all likelihood there would be no Indian representation in 74 kg in Rio. Narsingh has been handed provisional suspension as of now,” WFI sources said.
Yadav, who won the 74 kg Olympic quota berth with a World Championships bronze last year, was selected for Rio in controversial circumstances after double Olympic-medallist Kumar’s demands for a trial were rejected both by the WFI and the Delhi High Court.
Yadav had to fight a lengthy legal battle with Kumar to get the chance to compete for India at the Olympics.
The Sports Ministry also issued a statement to confirm a failed dope test by a wrestler but desisted from giving out Yadav’s name.
“One wrestler has been detected by National Anti-Doping Agency as dope positive. An Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel has been constituted by NADA under its rules for hearing the case. Its first hearing was held yesterday in which the wrestler was given an opportunity to defend himself,” the ministry said. .