Narsingh’s road to Rio is open: WFI chief
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Wednesday said that if Narsingh Yadav is cleared of doping charges by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA), then he will fight another battle for him to secure his berth for the Rio Olympics.
Narsingh’s chances of participating in the upcoming Rio Olympics came under a cloud last Sunday when he returned a positive result for a dope test conducted by the NADA on 25 June.
Following this, Narsingh, who was selected to represent the country in the men’s 74kg freestyle category ahead of two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, was handed a provisional suspension.
The 26-year-old ran into further trouble on Wednesday after it was announced that a second test conducted on 5 July has also returned a positive result.
“Although Praveen Rana has been named as replacement for Yadav if he gets a clean cheat, I am ready to fight another battle for him to secure his Olympic berth,” said Singh.
The WFI had named Praveen Rana for the replacement slot on Monday in order to preserve India’s Olympic quota in the 74kg freestyle category. Singh said that Rana’s name was sent on 25 July — which was the last date for naming replacements — to secure the Olympic quota.
“Rana’s name was sent to secure country’s Olympic quota and the proposal was accepted on 26 July. If we wouldn’t have recommended Rana’s name, we would have missed our quota,” he said.
Singh also said that chances of Yadav participating in the Rio Olympics have not completely diminished.
“His road to the Olympics has not completely ended. Now, it’s up to Yadav to prove his innocence. Once given clean cheat, he will go for the Olympics,” he added.
Singh also refuted the claims of Sports Minister Vijay Goel that no player in the Olympics squad can be substituted if he or she has been suspended by an anti-doping panel.
“The minister is unaware of the rules. He is saying such things due to lack of information. Rana’s name has already been accepted,” he said.
Singh also said that a conspiracy was hatched to stop Yadav from participating in the Olympics and this needs to be exposed in order to secure future generations of sportspersons.
“I have been saying since the beginning that a conspiracy was hatched to stop him from Rio Olympics. The cook at SAI centre in Sonipat has identified a wrestler named Jitesh. He is brother of a known wrestler of Chatrasal Akhada. Two other people have also identified him. This is a clear case of conspiracy,” he said.
Singh, an MP from Gonda in Uttar Pradesh also sought a CBI probe into the whole affair.
“The matter needs to be probed by CBI as it is related to future of youth of the country,” he said.
“He has been an Olympian. Has played more than 50 international games. He knows very well that what should be eat and what shouldn’t. How can he make such mistake,” Singh said.
Narsingh, who has been provisionally suspended as of now, will get a chance to prove his innocence when he faces the NADA disciplinary panel.