Rio de Janeiro: Shuttler P.V. Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik scripted a new chapter in the history of Indians in the Olympics, with their unprecedented feats. However, Narsingh Yadav’s dreams lay in tatters after being slapped with a four year doping ban, making it a bitter-sweet day for the country.
Sindhu made a historic entry into the final of the badminton women’s singles event, hours after Sakshi had nailed the country’s first medal, following eleven days when no medals were won.
In a stunning reversal of fortunes, controversial male wrestler, Yadav was ousted from the Games and slapped with a four-year ban for failing a dope test after the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) overturned the clean chit given to him by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA.)
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had appealed against the clearance that NADA gave to Yadav at the CAS, three days ahead of his scheduled opening bout at the Olympics.
“….Narsingh Yadav was sanctioned with four-year ineligibility period starting today and that any period of provisional suspension of ineligibility, effectively served by the athlete before the entry into force of this award shall be credited against the total period of ineligibility to be served.” CAS said in a statement after the four-hour long hearing last night.
“The CAS panel did not accept the argument of the athlete that he was the victim of sabotage and noted that there was no evidence that he bore no fault, nor that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional. Therefore the standard 4-year period of ineligibility was imposed by the Panel,” it added.
On the brighter side, the lanky Sindhu, ranked 10th in the world, went one better than her senior Saina Nehwal, who won a bronze in London four years ago, and became the first Indian ever, to enter the final clash of the shuttle game in the quadrennial sports spectacle.
Sindhu defeated her short-statured, third-seeded Japanese rival, the current all- England champion, 21-19 21-10 in 49 minutes with superb offensive play, to enter tomorrow’s gold medal clash.
The Indian badminton player from Hyderabad, a two-time bronze medalist in world championships, will meet Spain’s Carolina Marin, who ousted defending champion Li Xuerei of China in the first semi-final with a 21-14 21-16 victory, in the final.