The participation of wrestler Narsingh Yadav in the Rio Olympics has once again been thrown into doubt. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the exoneration of the 74kg freestyle wrestler following his recent positive dope test.
The WADA lodged the appeal on August 13 but the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and Yadav’s lawyer only learnt about the development on Tuesday.
“Yes, WADA has appealed the verdict on Narsingh to CAS, which will hear both parties on Thursday August 18,” Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Indian wrestling’s governing body president, told IANS. Yadav is to open his Rio campaign on Friday, August 19, a day after the hearing is scheduled to take place.
A source who spoke to Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity pointed a finger at Chef-de-mission for the Rio Olympics, Rakesh Gupta, who he said was notified by the WADA when it lodged the appeal. “He had the notification with him but didn’t bother to inform anyone,” the source added.
Yadav, who was chosen ahead of double Olympics medallist Sushil Kumar for the Rio Games, tested positive for two of samples in June. The samples showed traces of a banned anabolic steroid, with another sample collected on July 5 also testing positive. Yadav said there was a conspiracy and he was a victim of sabotage.
The wrestler was later cleared by the National Anti-Doping Agency’s (NADA) disciplinary panel on August 2. It said the ingestion of the prohibitive substance, methandienone, appeared to be a one-time incident.
“…the panel concludes that the athlete deserves the benefit of Article 10.4 of the anti-doping rules of NADA 2015. As there is no fault and negligence on his part, and he is a victim of sabotage done by a competitor. Therefore, keeping in view the facts and circumstances said above, the panel exonerates the athlete from the charges of violating the anti-doping rules of NADA,” the summary of the report filed by the three-member panel read.