Narsingh Yadav was defeated by his compatriots rather than opponents, says IOA's Rajeev Mehta
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has been left embarrassed by the four-year ban imposed by Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) on wrestler Narsingh Yadav for twice failing drug tests before the Rio Olympic Games and have said that the embattled wrestler has been “defeated by compatriots” rather than opponents.
The 27-year old was left red-faced after he was disallowed from competing at the Rio Olympics and was slapped with a four-year ban for testing positive for a substance called methandienone, which is a banned anabolic steroid. Ever since the positive reports came out on at the end of July, the wrestler had cried foul and claimed that there was a conspiracy of sabotaging him behind the positive results.
On Thursday, CAS had overturned the clean chit given to the wrestler by the National Anti-Doping Agency of India (NADA). The news also came as a big blow to the Indian contingent at the Games and most importantly to the IOA, who had been confident of Narsingh’s innocence. Speaking to PTI after the CAS verdict, the General Secretary of the IOA, Rajeev Mehta said, “It's not a just loss for Narsingh at the Court of Arbitration for Sports but he was beaten by his compatriots who did not want to let him compete at the Olympics and not by his opponents.”
Mehta continued, “The picture is clear and neither I nor anyone has to say who's done the foul play. If you go back, you can easily connect the dots and would clearly know who could be the suspect. As of now, the culprits have been successful in stopping him from the Olympics, though we may challenge the order and minimise the ban. It's a loss for the country. We must go deep into the matter and the government should initiate a CBI inquiry into the matter. It's not a small thing, it's plaguing our country's sport and we must nip this in the bud.”
The official was not tight-lipped about the matter and indicated that it could have been a conspiracy to ensure that Narsingh would be unable to compete. He added, “Days after he won the battle at the Delhi High Court, a phone call came from his SAI centre in Sonipat about some doping activities, the raid happened and his sample was found positive. It cannot be sheer coincidence."
WADA had previously appealed just three days ahead of Narsingh’s scheduled opening fixture at the Games, against the clean chit given to the wrestler by NADA at the CAS. Mehta had been the part of the four-hour long hearing that took place as the verdict marked a painful end to the biggest controversy in Indian sports in recent times.