The Narsingh Pancham Yadav dope saga isn’t ending anytime soon. On Tuesday, hours after landing from Rio de Janeiro, Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh took potshots at the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for ‘playing dirty’ in Narsingh’s positive dope test.
The 74kg freestyle wrestler was exonerated by NADA’s anti-doping and disciplinary panel of any wrongdoing on August 1.
This judgement was successfully challenged by the World Anti-doping Agency at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Narsingh was banned for four years on the day of his bout, August 18.
“I have said then and I’ll say it again, Narsingh is a victim of conspiracy. We’ll meet the PM and the home minister in this regard as it is very important to hold a CBI enquiry as the guilty has to be punished. I’ll even go this far in saying that if Narsingh is guilty, punish me severely too. But we need to get to the bottom of this matter,” the WFI chief told reporters.
“We were constantly asked at the CAS hearing what action was taken by the police. I got the sense that they were sympathetic to our plea but since no arrest or headway was made, he was banned for want of evidence,” he added.
The federation president claimed: “We got to know that a complaint was forwarded to NADA on July 4 from the SAI centre alleging that there was a drug menace there. On July 5, Narsingh was tested. I believe that the perpetrators who ensured he failed the June 25 test, did not know whether his result will return positive.
So with the help of NADA, they returned to make sure that his July 5 sample tested positive. This is why I am asking for the CBI enquiry. The guilty should be punished as this is not only an issue with wrestling, players from other sports can also be targeted,” he said.
Sports Authority of India (SAI) sources rejected this allegation saying no one complained to NADA about drug abuse at the centre.
The WFI may be in the wrong about this latest allegation as NADA returned to the Sonepat venue on July 5 to take blood samples for Narsingh’s hemaetological passport. NADA director general Navin Agarwal had said during the hearing that the test was done on the direction of WADA. “While we were taking the blood sample we also took the urine sample from him,” Agarwal had told this correspondent.
In fact, the sports ministry release on July 28 too stated that tests conducted on July 5 were done under the advice of WADA.
Singh refused to take any responsibility over the handling of the case, which eventually meant that India went unrepresented in the 74kg category. “There was no miscalculation. After NADA clearance, United World Wrestling cleared his name, then the IOC, and only after all the clearances did he go to Rio.”
Narsingh rued the fact that no headway had been made in his police complaint. “They haven’t done anything in the case so far. This is why I want a CBI enquiry,” he said.