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Wrestling Federation of India declares Narsingh Yadav's Rio chances are over

Narsingh and his lawyer have alleged foul play.

News 30 Jul 2016, 10:37 IST
narsingh yadav
The Indian wrestler was part of a delegation that met the Prime Minister ahead of their departure to Rio

Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav was found to have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs ahead of the Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro, due to begin in a week. Both his a and b-samples tested positive for metadienone, which is on WADA’s list of banned substances. The drug is most widely used by athletes in strength-based sports such as wrestling, weightlifting and rowing.

It now seems likely that even his outside chance at representing India at the Olympic Games has ended.

Narsingh and his coach have both since alleged foul play, with the pair claiming the wrestler’s meals had been laced with the drug by a third party looking to sabotage Narsingh’s attempt at Olympic glory.

The National Anti-Doping Agency, or NADA, are in the process of a cross-examination of witnesses in the case in order to prove Narsingh’s innocence, but it has now emerged that officials from the Wrestling Federation of India, or WFI, have said his hopes at Rio 2016 are “all but over.”

Admitting that the investigation had not yet been completed, as was previously believed to have been the case. Lawyers had also suggested that the case, which had been filed by Narsingh and his coach with the Haryana police, would be resolved by Sunday or Monday, the 31st of July.

Officials said in a statement that their focus had moved from the Olympics to help the wrestler salvage his career. “The kind of mental stress he has undergone in the last 10 days cannot be undone in even 10 months. Olympics is not just another tournament, you need both physical and mental strength to perform well there. We believe in his innocence but we also admit that we do not feel he is in any shape to be a strong medal contender any more. What we want now is to ensure that he comes out of this mess and starts working towards the 2020 Games,” they said.

“He is talented and only 26, there is a lot of wrestling left in him still. We want him to strive for the Tokyo Games, get a medal there and prove himself to the world,” the official added.

Should he be found guilty, the wrestler could face a ban of anywhere between two to four years.

Narsingh is not the only Indian Olympian to have tested positive – shot putter Inderjeet Singh has also tested positive for steroids. His b-sample will be tested shortly.

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