Wrestling body demands CBI probe into Narsingh doping fiasco
Rio de Janeiro, Aug 21 (IANS) Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Sunday demanded a CBI probe into the "alleged conspiracy" against Narsingh Yadav, which led to a four-year ban on the grappler by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Narsingh had tested positive for a banned substance ahead of the Rio Olympics on June 25. But he was cleared on August 1 by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) which allowed him to travel to Rio.
NADA postponed its verdict twice in July and later while giving him the clean chit, said he "was a victim of sabotage done by a competitor".
But on August 16 the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) exercised its right to appeal to CAS against NADA's verdict.
The Mumbai grappler was scheduled to start his Olympic campaign against Zelimkhan Khadjiev of France in the qualification round of the men's 74kg Freestyle category on August 19, a day after his the CAS hearing.
The 26-year-old grappler also underwent his weigh-in on Thursday, August 18, the same day when the hearing of his case was scheduled to happen.
CAS upheld WADA's appeal against the clean chit given to him and ended all his hopes of participating at the quadrennial event.
The ad-hoc division of CAS hear WADA's appeal against Narsingh clearance and slapped a four-year ban on the Uttar Pradesh-born grappler.
"I demand a CBI probe into this issue so that this episode is not repeated in the future. The WFI President feels that the World Anti-Doping Agency's timing of appeal against the NADA clean chit to Narsingh was suspect. He had also objected to the CAS hearing being held just hours before the competition started in the Olympics," WFI said in a statement.
"The notice from CAS came at such a time neither could Narsingh bring his lawyer to Rio to argue his case nor could a replacement be arranged for the 74kg category by the WFI."
"Narsingh told CAS that he had complained against the suspect who might have spiked his drink but the Haryana Police has been unable to catch him so far. Had the police got hold of this suspect, the country would not have lost the chance to grab a medal," it added.
WFI also communicated to the world's apex wrestling body, the United World Wrestling (UWW) on August 1 that NADA has cleared Narsingh of all the doping-related charges and the 26-year-old would be re-included in the team for the category.
UWW gave the green light to Narsingh for participation on August 3.
Narsingh earlier overcame protracted legal hurdles to participate in Rio after getting dragged into a bitter courtroom tussle by two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar over representing the country.
Narsingh was preferred over Sushil by WFI to take part in the Games, that fuelled a major legal battle between the two grapplers.
Sushil missed the qualification for Rio due to injury, and Narsingh secured the berth to represent the country. After repeatedly requesting WFI to hold trials anew, Sushil moved the court.
But the Delhi High Court on June 6 dismissed his plea, clearing Narsingh's path.
After NADA's clearance, Sushil conveyed his best wishes to the Mumbai wrestler for success at Rio.