Buzz over Yadav's failed dope test

Speculation is rife in the wrestling fraternity that Narsingh Yadav may not be able to make it to the Rio Olympics, after the star grappler was being stopped from accompanying the Indian team for the preparatory camp in Georgia.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 24.07.16
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Yadav

New Delhi: Speculation is rife in the wrestling fraternity that Narsingh Yadav may not be able to make it to the Rio Olympics, after the star grappler was being stopped from accompanying the Indian team for the preparatory camp in Georgia.

While sources said the 74kg wrestler, one of India's main hopes in the Rio Olympics, has failed a dope test, a section of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) officials maintained there could be a bigger conspiracy to stop the wrestler from going to Rio.

"The five-member men's wrestling team are set to leave for Georgia on Monday. They will train there and will fly to Rio directly. However, Narsingh will not accompany the team. The reason for that is not known," said a sports ministry official.

Sources claimed that Narsingh had failed an out-of-competition dope test, conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency (Nada) on July 5, the result of which came on July 16.

The wrestler, it is believed, had also failed the B sample test and the hearing had already started.

The assistant secretary of the WFI, Vinod Tomar, refused to comment on the matter. "We have to look into things before making any comment," he said.

Suspicion, however, started growing when an official of the WFI visited the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) office to collect the accreditation cards of the Rio-bound grapplers. All cards were handed over to him except for Narsingh's, without giving any reason for it. Later the WFI asked the sports ministry to intervene in the matter and received the card.

Given the fact that Narsingh had to earn his Rio ticket after a bitter court battle with double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, some people are of the opinion that there is a larger conspiracy behind the entire episode to put the Maharashtra wrestler on the mat.

"You must note the fact that the current training camp is in Sonepat. Narsingh was never comfortable practising at that centre, but he never complained about it.

"Once the Delhi High Court ruled he should go to the Olympics, the Haryana police confirmed that Narsingh received threats from a certain section of fans. The government must probe what exactly is wrong in the entire thing," said a senior official in the WFI.

Narsingh, 26, is one of country's biggest prospects and has been in terrific form for the last couple of years. He won the quota place for India in the 74kg in style when he grabbed the bronze medal in the 2015 World championship in Las Vegas.

Sushil Kumar, who currently plays in the 74kg category, did not participate in the World Championship citing a nagging shoulder injury.

While Sushil did not play the inaugural pro-wrestling league pulling out at the last moment, Narsingh was in roaring form and did not lose a bout.

Sushil had demanded a trial between him and Narsingh before the Rio squad was finalised. Once the WFI rejected his plea, he had filed a case in the Delhi High Court.