New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Monday expressed confidence regarding Narsingh Yadav’s participation in the Rio Olympics after the Mumbai-based grappler was cleared of doping charges by National Anti Doping Agency (NADA).
An elated Singh told reporters that both the WFI and NADA will write to the United World Wrestling (UWW), International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well as World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), to pave the way for Narsingh’s entry into the Rio Games, starting August 5.
“We will be writing today to the IOC, UWW and the Rio Olympic Organising committee that Narsingh has been been cleared by NADA,” Singh said.
NADA will on its part also write to the IOC and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) that the wrestler has been given a clean chit.
“WFI had earlier named Parveen Rana on July 25 as a replacement following Narsingh’s provisional suspension to preserve India’s quota in the 74kg freestyle category. We had clearly written to them that a high level NADA panel is probing the whole fiasco involving Narsingh.”
“India can be rest assured that Narsingh will go to Rio Olympics. We are fully confident,” he added.
Ending the suspense of the last few days, NADA Director General Naveen Agarwal on Monday read out a statement clearing Narsingh, leading to wild celebrations among his supporters.
“We kept in mind that in the past, till June 2, none of his samples were positive. It was inconceivable that one-time ingestion would be of benefit. Therefore the panel is of the view that the one-time ingestion was not intentional,” Agarwal said while reading out the verdict.
“The panel concludes that the athlete deserves the benefit of article 10.4 of the NADA’s anti-doping code.”
Calling Narsingh innocent, Agarwal said: “There is no fault and negligence on Narsingh’s part. He was a victim of sabotage done by a competitor.”
“Panel is of the opinion that while practising it is impossible to keep a watch on drinks,cannot be held as failure on athlete’s part,” he added.
The disciplinary panel of NADA had concluded its hearing on Narsingh last Thursday.
Narsingh, who bagged the quota with a bronze medal finish in last year’s World Championships, first returned positive for a banned steroid after a dope test conducted by the NADA on June 25.
The wrestler’s ‘B’ sample also tested positive for a banned substance, jeopardising his chances of competing in what would have been his second Olympics. Following this, Narsingh was handed a provisional suspension.
He ran into further trouble last Wednesday after it was announced that a second test conducted on July 5 has also returned a positive result.
While Narsingh and his lawyers had claimed of a conspiracy to frame him and had filed a police report in this regard, the legal representative of the NADA last Thursday said the wrestler has not been able to convincingly prove his claims that his food had been spiked.
A relieved Narsingh said he was happy that the truth finally prevailed and can’t wait to win a medal at Rio.
Narsingh thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who intervened in solving the matter speedily.
“I am grateful to the Prime Minister, Sports Ministry, Wrestling Federation of India and media for supporting and having faith in me and standing by the truth,” Narsingh said.
“I am very happy, I can’t wait to to win for my nation in the Olympics. Despite the fiasco I have continued training and hope to be in Rio for the Games as soon as possible,” he added.
As news of Narsingh’s clearance came in, two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, who had a bitter legal tussle with the 26-year-old over representing the country in the 74kg freestyle category at the Rio Olympics, wished him the best.
Narsingh, who had bagged the quota with a bronze medal finish in last year’s World Championships, was preferred by the WFI ahead of Sushil Kumar to take part in Rio Games, which fuelled a major legal battle between the two grapplers.
“Bahut khushi ki baat hai. Mera support pehle bhi tha aaj bhi hai aur aage bhi rahega. Go win for me and the country #NarsinghYadav. (I am very happy with the verdict. I have always supported him and will continue to do so),” Sushil tweeted.
London Olympics bronze medallist and India’s Olympic wrestling team spearhead Yogeshwar Dutt also took to Twitter to wish his fellow grappler.
“Satya pareshan ho sakta hai parajit nehi. NADA se pehlwan Narsingh Yadav ko mili clean chit, Jai Hind #NarsinghYadav (The truth can run into trouble but can’t be defeated. NADA has given a clean chit to Narsingh Yadav),” Yogeshwar, who will compete in the 65kg category in Rio tweeted.