“Sports mai se politics hata kar dekh lo,
Gali gali mai champions milenge”
A powerful punch line from the Bollywood movie Saala Khadoos (2016) made so much sense back then and makes rather more sense now citing the recent doping controversy. The movie probably would have tanked at the box office but the harsh reality of sports shown, hardly makes anyone disagree with it.
Out of 119-member contingent from India for Rio Olympics, one of the brightest medal prospects, Narsingh Yadav finds his Olympic dream tormented just days before his departure. Having had a clean reputation as a wrestler for over a decade, someone who won the Olympic berth by sheer talent and dedication, and also after retaining his place lawfully against the two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar, it is sad to know that for some sabotaging a player’s career comes even before the country’s pride.
At a time when India is fast picking up in sports and spearing its way in through different disciplines by even setting new world records, rather than boosting the morale of the medal probables they are held to ransom at gunpoint.
With just a week to go for the most awaited sporting event, there is still no clarity over when the NADA’s anti-doping disciplinary panel will announce its final verdict on Narsingh Yadav’s Olympic slot.
After a two-day hearing on Narsingh’s dope case, the NADA counsel says the verdict may either be out on July 31 or August 1.
Whatever may be the verdict, the grappler already has lost out on the crucial training sessions along with his self-esteem being challenged time and again to prove his place in a sport long being dominated by wrestlers from Haryana and Punjab.
The wrestler first had to fight for his berth against the famed Sushil Kumar and now with almost time to disperse for a medal, he is made to run helter-skelter to prove his innocence.
His chances of representing India in the 74 kg weight category are however dizzy and so are the chances of another medal in wrestling. If fate is kind to him and if our Olympian makes his way through all the dirty noise to Rio, what are the chances of he not being tagged as a doper by wrestlers the world over? For nobody is going to put faith in a country who is so busy fighting internally when it is the nation who wins a medal with every athlete fighting for it.
Damage has already been done. A major part of his autobiography, his biopic or be it any chapter of his on the World Wide Web, is going to be associated with charges of a failed dope test in his prime. A tag that he will have to bear all his life for a mistake he could not even have thought of committing.
Such is the life of a great sportsperson in our country. He not only has to fight his opponent but also has to fight the many hierarchies in the system who are only looking for a chance to rain on their parade.
As per the recent update, Praveen Rana has already replaced him on paper. However, it shall be reinstated if Yadav succeeds in proving that he is not guilty and there was a bid to sabotage by his rivals. The WFI is in full support of Narsingh Yadav with the president Brijbhushan Sharan Singh looking to prove him innocent.
Time for another hashtag maybe, #JusticeforNarsigh !