Mumbai: Only when we thought wrestler Narsingh Yadav had enough of the courtroom drama and mental torture, and finally has got the deserved time to concentrate on his performance, he is struck with yet another bout, just a day before his opening campaign.
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has taken Yadav’s participation to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to review the clean chit given to him by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on August 2. Narsingh is India’s only entry in the 64-kg freestyle category in the Summer Games.
There will be a hearing on August 18, exactly a day before Narsingh begins his Rio campaign, further putting Yadav’s participation in jeopardy.
“WADA has appealed against the NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) clearance in Court of Arbitration (CAS). Now the hearing is on and the IOA Secretary General is there with WADA officials”, Indian contingent chef-de-mission Rakesh Gupta informed news agency PTI.
He further said that the appeal came two days ago.
“They were not convinced by the NADA clearance so they challenged it in the CAS. The hearing will determine his fate. We will reply on basis of merit, let’s hope for the best. This is the best option we are left with and now we are living in hope”, he added.
There was a hearing at the Games Village on Tuesday. It was attended by members of the Indian contingent and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
“We are aware of the case. We must respect the integrity of the case, and as such we cannot comment on any aspect of the case or process while matters are still pending,” WADA was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Narsingh was supposed to begin his campaign on August 19 but now faces the prospect of a career-ending four-year ban if the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) upholds WADA’s appeal.
Indian Olympic Association Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said Narsingh’s legal counsel Vidushpat Singhania would fight the case through video conference at the IOC office here at 9am local time on August 18.
“We are left with two options, to take two-days’ time and fight the case or a time of one month for reply which would have jeopardised his career. His fate will now be decided on August 18. We will fight till the end,” Mehta told PTI.
NADA Director General Navin Agarwal read out a statement clearing Narsingh, leading to wild celebrations among his supporters.
“We kept in mind that in the past, till June 2, none of his samples were positive. It was inconceivable that one-time ingestion would be of benefit. Therefore, the panel is of the view that the one-time ingestion was not intentional. The panel concludes that the athlete deserves the benefit of article 10.4 of the NADA’s anti-doping code. Keeping in view that he was victim of a sabotage, the panel exonerates the athlete from charges of anti-doping rules of NADA.”
Now after putting him through the worst situation which an athlete could never even think of, if he indeed gets a medal, which we all believe he will, that’s going to make a champion story!