Continuing to back dope-tainted wrestler Narsingh Yadav, a top Wrestling Federation of India official claimed on Friday that the 74-kg freestyle wrestler would have clinched the silver medal had he taken part in the Rio Olympics instead of being banned for four years by the CAS.
“Narsingh would have won at least a silver medal, I can assure you that,” said WFI secretary V N Prasood here on the sidelines of a press conference to announce a world level prize money event.
Narsingh was exonerated on doping charges at home by NADA which upheld his claim that his food/drink during his stay while training for the Games at Sonepat in Haryana had been spiked with the banned substance, which he had injected.
World Anti Doping Agency challenged the clean chit given to Narsingh by its Indian affiliate at the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Rio a day before he was set to take part in his weight class bouts.
CAS threw him out of the Games and also slapped a four-year ban on the Indian grappler after he failed to produce any “real evidence” regarding the sabotage theory he had presented.
In its ruling, the ad hoc panel of the CAS relied on expert evidence that Narsingh’s dope offence was not due to one-time ingestion of the prohibited substance and its concentration in the first test result (of June 25) was so high that it had to come from an oral ingestion of one or two tablets of methandienone, rather than from a drink where the powder had been mixed with water.
Explaining the chronology of events leading to his ban Prasood said, “On August 18 Narsingh gave a medical at noon and had his weight-in at 1.30 pm. His name was even there in the fixtures. At 8.30 pm in the night CAS released their judgement.
“CAS told him give your weight, don’t worry about anything in the afternoon, we’ll give a result at night. So why should we have been thinking about it (ban),” asked Prasood when reporters questioned him on the matter.
“That’s when we actually thought that after 21st they will take any action, (that) if they want to punish they will take away medal if Narsingh had won any medal,” he said.
“The judgment was unexpected. If only they had given this “The judgment was unexpected. If only they had given this verdict earlier, we could have sent Praveen Rana,” he said.