Narsingh Yadav’s hopes of representing India at the Rio Olympics are fading by the minute. While he is still pleading innocence and is hoping for a reprieve from the national anti-doping panel, his lawyers have failed to give proof to substantiate their theory of sabotage.
The National Doping Agency (Nada) lawyer, Gaurang Kanth, said Narsingh and his lawyers did not put forward any proof of their claims. “We stated that the plea that was taken by him that he was under no fault and there was no negligence is not correct and this will not hold ground as far as Nada is concerned,” Kanth told the media after presenting the counter argument before the panel.
The Nada is expected to pronounce its verdict on Saturday or Monday .
Asked what punishment he was seeking, Kanth said it was as per the Nada code, which calls for the maximum ban of four years.
However, in what may be seen as some relief for Narsingh, both his violations – positive tests from samples taken on June 25 and July 5 – will be treated as a single offence.
Sources claimed that Narsingh’s lawyers, led by Vidhuspat Singhania, failed to conclusively prove that someone had laced his food or water with prohibited substance.
“Para 17 of Narsingh’s affidavit says his food has been contaminated. In Para 18 he claims his drink may be laced. I mean you have to take one particular stance,” the source said.
“Then they have claimed that his water could have been laced sometime between June 23-24. You have to understand that under Nada rule 2.1 it is the task of the athletes to ensure that no (prohibited) substance enters their body. Now if you are claiming that for two days you have not been able to carry out the duty tasked upon you... in two days you’ll be training twice, it means that on four occasions you have failed to carry out that duty. (It counters Narsingh’s argument to say that it was understandable if he did not notice someone trying to spike his water on one occasion, but not during each of the four training sessions over two days).
“Now if you want relief under No Fault No Negligence clause... how many times can you be negligent? You can be negligent may be once or twice but not four times,” he added.
‘No evidence on record’
Narsingh’s lawyers also failed to put forward any evidence. Of the three affidavits submitted -- by Narsingh, Sandip Tulsi Yadav (Narsingh’s room mate who has also tested positive) and by his cook Chandan Yadav. The one by the cook was questioned by Kanth after it was revealed that the law firm had bought the stamp paper on its name rather than in Chandan’s name.
“Both the affidavits weren’t clear about the time when the alleged incident happened or whether they saw somebody doing it. Also, they could not prove whether the food was contaminated or the water laced. In view of all this, it will be very hard for the panel to give any relief to Narsingh,” he said.
Narsingh still feels he will get relief. “I have put the truth in front of the panel and hope I will get good news. All we can do is to wait for the decision. But I’m still hopeful of going to Rio and am continuing my training,” he told the media.