Narsingh: Who’s to blame?
The wrestling federation, too, stands by its 74-kg category star Narsingh.
The first doping scandal has already surfaced as the Rio Olympics is about to start. In an intriguing turn of events, India’s wrestling medal hope, Narsingh Yadav, has tested positive for a performance-enhancing steroid, so too his sparring partner Sandeep Yadav. The Olympic authorities can only go by the drug tests run by NADA for the world anti-dope watchdog WADA. Narsingh cannot obviously be allowed to compete in the Games, however sympathetic people might be towards him as conspiracy theories abound as to how such a senior athlete was found to have ingested such large doses of methandienone on the eve of the Games. However, there can be no true empathy for any athlete caught with performance enhancers in his system.
Given the circumstances in which Narsingh qualified for the Olympics — in a court of law rather than in the wrestling ring — a proper inquiry is needed. The doping may have been triggered at the Sonepat Centre of the Sports Authority of India where the wrestlers were living and training. Such is the state of the sport’s administration that Narsingh had to withstand protracted legal proceedings to become eligible for Rio against the claims of rival Sushil Kumar. The wrestling federation, too, stands by its 74-kg category star Narsingh. He cannot go to Rio but the least that can be done is to try and get at the truth.