India’s Olympic buildup was dealt a huge blow on Monday as top wrestler Narsingh Yadav, who was selected ahead of the celebrated Sushil Kumar, failed a dope test but insisted that the scandal that has jeopardised his Olympic participation is a conspiracy against him.
National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) Director General Navin Agarwal said Narsingh had tested positive for a banned substance and he appeared before a NADA disciplinary panel yesterday. Sources said he had tested positive for methandienone — a banned anabolic steroid.
“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,” the NADA DG said.
“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.”
Narsingh, on his part, claimed innocence, saying that the scandal was a conspiracy against him.
“I believe that there is foul play involved in this entire episode. Someone has sabotaged my food supplements and water intake. I take pride in the fact that I have competed in every competition, international and domestic, in an honest, fair and transparent manner and I will continue to do so. I am a responsible athlete with an understanding of the country’s expectations and hopes on me. I would never dream of betraying that hope,” Narsingh asserted in a statement.
“It is foul play. Narsingh has a very clean history. It is clearly a conspiracy against him. A decision on the representation in 74kg is to be taken later but in all likelihood there would be no Indian representation in 74kg in Rio. Narsingh has been handed provisional suspension as of now,” an WFI official said