Rio Olympics 2016: Narsingh Yadav doping issue unfortunate for Indian wrestling, says Sushil Kumar’s coach and former great Satpal Singh
Controversies just refuse to die away when it comes to Indian wrestling. India’s 74-kg freestyle grappler Narsingh Yadav’s being testing positive for a banned substance has hurt Indian wrestling in a big way – the official confirmation by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has thrown a cloud of uncertainty over who will represent India in the 74-kg category at the Rio Olympics.
Indian wrestling has been rocked earlier by the so-called ‘Sushil Kumar vs Narsingh Yadav’ fiasco, as to who will play for the country in the freestyle 74-kg category after the latter had sealed the Olympic berth winning a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships in the USA.
Former wrestling great and Sushil Kumar’s coach Satpal Singh says the whole development is ill-timed. “It’s unfortunate that Indian wrestling has to face such a situation where a player is tested positive with just ten days to go for the Olympics,” he says.
The former wrestling great believes the image of the sport has surely taken a beating. “There is no doubt that Indian wrestling is on a high and everyone is expecting medals from our grapplers. But the reputation of Indian wrestling has taken a pounding because of this latest development,” he observes.
Narsingh had said that he is ‘innocent’ and that the whole testing positive thing is nothing but a conspiracy. Satpal puts forth his views on the same. “Look, NADA has caught him using a banned substance and how can it be a conspiracy. India wants its wrestlers to do well in the Olympics and it is not fair for Narsingh to say it is a conspiracy.
“I have nothing against Narsingh but this whole thing was uncalled for,” he quips.
Now with Narsingh being handed provisional suspension and virtually ruled out of next month's Olympics, it remains to be whether Sushil can replace him in Rio. Insiders say there may be no Indian representation in the 74kg category in Rio Games because the date of entry of the athletes is over.
“It is for the WFI to decide on whom to send for Rio. I can’t comment on it – all I’m saying is the country should not miss out on an opportunity to send a representation in 74-kg,” he adds.