25 July, New Delhi
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Monday threw their support behind Rio-bound Narsingh Yadav, who was tested positive for a banned steroid, saying the wrestler is a victim of conspiracy.
Narsingh failed a random dope test conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on July 5 at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) regional centre in Sonipat. He was later called for his ‘B’ sample test, which also turned out to be positive.
“Narsingh Yadav had filed a written complaint with the federation on July 19 in which he told us about the incident and has made allegations against one of the officials of the SAI, including others. Narsingh Yadav has given this in writing that it is a conspiracy against him and I also feel the same, nation feels same,” Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, president of the WFI said in a press conference.
A day after the news, another Indian wrestler, Sandeep Tulsi Yadav, was found to have tested positive for the same substance as the Rio-bound wrestler.
Tulsi is Narsingh Yadav’s sparring partner and room-mate at Sports Authority of India (SAI), Sonipat.
Reflecting on the same, Brij Bhushan observed that Narsingh’s room-mate being tested positive for the same steroid and conduction of dope test on a player thrice in one month also indicates suspicion.
“I feel that if he would have taken the banned substance or steroid, he would have not participated in the Spanish tournament. But he did not do that and won a medal there. To have dope test conducted at a player thrice in one month clearly indicates suspicion. To add to this, his roommate Sandeep Yadav Tulsi has also been tested positive for the same substance,” he added.
Singh further said the federation feels that injustice has been done with Narsingh Yadav and hope that the committee, probing the matter, does justice.
“I am hopeful that Narsingh represents India in 74 kg category at the Olympics,” he said.
Narsingh, who bagged the quota in the 74kg category with a bronze medal finish in last year’s World Championships, was selected for the Rio Olympics in controversial circumstances as two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar had demanded for trials to determine who should go to the games.
However, Narsingh was favoured for the same after fighting a lengthy legal battle with Sushil.