Barely 10 days before the start of the Olympics, India suffered a huge embarrassment as 74kg freestyle wrestler Narsingh Yadav failed a dope test conducted by NADA, a development which has cast doubt on his participation in Rio Games.
National Anti-Doping Director General Navin Agarwal confirmed that Narsingh’s ‘B’ sample also tested positive for a banned steroid and he appeared before a NADA disciplinary panel yesterday.
“Yes, he (Narsingh) 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,” NADA DG told PTI today.
“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 Narsingh 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.”
Interestingly, Narsingh was selected for the Rio Olympics in controversial circumstances as double Olympic medallist Sushil Singh had also staked his claim to represent the country in 74kg freestyle.
But Narsingh was favoured as he had earned the Olympic quota in the World Championships last year.
Narsingh had to fight a lengthy legal battle with two-time Olympics medallist Sushil, also in the same category, to get the chance to compete for India at the Olympics.
The Sports Ministry also confirmed that a wrestler has failed a dope test even though it desisted from giving out Yadav’s name.
“One wrestler has been detected by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) as dope positive. An Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel(ADDP) 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.
“After the hearing, the panel has asked NADA for some further reports. After these reports are received, the panel would hold further hearing in the matter. ADDP is headed by a legal expert and includes doctors and sportspersons. NADA is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to check doping in sports.
“India is committed to the World Anti-Doping code and follows prescribed procedures. Government does not interfere in the day-to-day functioning of NADA and is committed to total transparency and objectivity in matters relating to doping,” it added.