Narsingh's food may have been spiked, Praveen Rana named replacement

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The man who may have spiked Narsingh Yadav’s food leading to him testing positive has been identified, say reports.

Narsingh Yadav has returned positive for a banned substance barely 10 days before the start of the Olympics. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Wrestler Praveen Rana will replace Narsingh Yadav for India in the 74 kg freestyle category at the Rio Olympics, the world wrestling body announced on its website on Tuesday.

Narsingh Yadav tested positive for a banned substance, metadienone, an anabolic steroid and the announcement on Sunday left him disqualified to represent India at the Olympics.

According to reports however, on Tuesday the man who may have spiked Narsingh Yadav’s food leading to him testing positive, was identified. The younger brother of an international wrestler in the super-heavyweight category allegedly infiltrated Narsingh's room and contaminated his food supplements.

The brother is himself a 65 kg wrestler and has represented India in the junior ranks, said the report. He trains at the Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi and frequents the SAI Sonepat Centre during the national camps.

The suspected intruder was reportedly seen hanging around Narsingh's room when wrestler was with the Indian team in Bulgaria. He asked for the keys to Narsingh's room at the KD Jadhav hostel at the centre during the Yadav’s absence and when someone enquired, he feigned ignorance asking, “Is this Pawan’s room?”

An FIR has been filed in the case, according to Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Narsingh also filed a written complaint at Samalkha police station, near Panipat.

Narsingh had won the qualification by winning the bronze medal at the world championships held in Las Vegas in November.

But the new turn of events does not seem to have fazed the Indian Olympic Association, which informed United World Wrestling of their desire to enter Parveen Rana as the replacement for Narsingh Yadav.

Rana, 23, is regarded as Sushil Kumar’s understudy at Delhi’s Chhattrasal Stadium.

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