In a huge blow for India, wrestler Narsingh Yadav has tested positive for a banned steroid that rules him out of the Rio Olympics that begin August 5.
The 74kg freestyle grappler, whose selection for Rio saw its fair share of wrangling, has been dropped from the team that leaves for an “exposure trip” to Georgia on Monday, sources said.
“Yes, he (Narsingh) tested positive for a banned steroid… Narsingh was personally present when his B sample was opened,” national anti-doping agency (Nada) director general Navin Agarwal told news agency PTI. As per rules, he faces suspension from all competitions.
Sources said the Commonwealth Games gold medallist tested positive for anabolic steroid methandienone that helps build muscle and enhance performance. Several Indian sportsperson have been suspended and served bans for using methandienone in the past.
The 26-year-old tested positive during a routine test on July 5. “He appeared before a disciplinary panel yesterday (Saturday). The panel sought more reports regarding the matter,” Agarwal said.
Yadav, who was training with the Rio-bound grapplers at Sports Authority of India facility in Haryana’s Sonepat, faces suspension and a hearing has been initiated.
Though the Wrestling Federation of India was tight-lipped about the developments, sources said efforts were on to expedite the hearing process. Asked if Yadav would miss the Rio games, Agarwal said, “It is too early to comment in that regard. We will try to complete the whole thing quickly. I cannot speculate on that.”
The son of a milk vendor, Yadav secured Olympics quota last year when he won bronze at the world wrestling championships in the US.
Sushil Kumar, the country’s most successful individual Olympian who failed to make the cut for Rio, had challenged Yadav’s place in the sqaud. Kumar even went to the Delhi high court to win the right to compete against Yadav. The court, however, ruled that Yadav had already qualified for the games.
(With agency inputs)