Mumbai: With less than 10 days to go for Rio Olympics, Indian sport is currently battling a major controversy—the Narsingh Yadav-wrestling controversy, which has left a bitter taste.
26-year-old Narsingh, a bronze medallist at the 2015 World Championship, was a top contender in the 74kg freestyle category and one of the country’s medal prospects.
However, the journey to represent the country was a tough one. The grappler from Mumbai was involved in a court tussle with 2012 silver Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar. Narsingh won the Wrestling Federation of India’s vote and was named by the governing body, much to the disappointment of Sushil, who launched a tirade at his junior.
Then arose the doping controversy that brought shame to the nation. Here are the key developments to the wrestling controversy:
- Narsingh Yadav, who was gearing for the main event outside the Indian Olympic camp, failed a dope test conducted by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on July 5.
- Sushil Kumar, also in the same category was vying for a spot in the Rio team. Narsingh ultimately grabbed the coveted slot as he won the quota place for Rio, while Sushil, who was injured for most part of the season, continues to nurse his injuries.
- According to the dope results, Narsingh was tested positive for banned anabolic steroid methandienone, a performance enhancing substance and prima facie will not be able to compete at the quadrennial event. However, Narsingh still has a chance to book his ticket on the Rio flight if he can prove innocent in front of the NADA panel at the hearing that is scheduled for Wednesday. Meanwhile, WFI has already named wrestler Parveen Rana as replacement.
- The 2015 World Championship bronze medallist cried foul after failing dope test, stating that he has been framed and all these developments were part of a conspiracy against him. Narsingh accused that his food supplements were spiked at the SAI centre in Sonepat, where he was training.
- WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan, who has backed Narsingh from the start, mentioned the names of suspects who spiked his food. "We suspect Jitesh, who fights in the 75kg category, and Sumit, both of them live in Chhatarsaal. And one of them has admitted to spiking Narsingh's food," he said.
- What raises questions to the thought of this scandal being false was that it was found that not only Narsingh but his roommate Sandeep Tulsi Yadav, a Greco-Roman wrestler, also tested positive for the same substance.
- Narsingh has given a written complaint to the WFI and has named a senior wrestler and an official behind the failed dope test.
- An FIR has been filed at the Sonepat police station after suspects were narrowed down. This report will be helpful when Narsingh claims his innocence to the panel that he was sabotaged.
- London Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt has thrown his weight behind Narsingh and said he was innocent.
- Narsingh Yadav has demanded a CBI probe into the doping scandal. WFI president met Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the issue.
- The final report of the panel probing wrestler Narsingh's doping controversy will come in the next two days till when he will remain under provisional suspension, the government told Lok Sabha on Wednesday.