The last few months have been the darkest period of Narsingh Yadav’s life. Having won a Rio Olympics berth by virtue of clinching bronze medal at the Wrestling World Championships in 2015, he was dragged to court by two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar over the spot. He had only just emerged triumphant from the messy court battle when he found himself embroiled in a doping scandal that threatened not just his Rio participation, but his career.
Even though family members like his brother Vinod had given up all hope of him being exonerated, the 26-year-old clutched on to the thinnest of straws and continued training.
"He was obviously nervous, but he kept training because he had to be ready. It was not possible to keep the same routine but (he did) as much as possible," Mustafa Ghouse, CEO of JSW Sports, Nasingh's sponsors who also helped him with legal representation, told HT after the verdict.
One man who has lived through as much as turmoil as Narsingh over the last few days is his personal coach Jagmal Singh. Jagmal says that his ward even trained for over two hours on Monday in the morning despite the distraction of the verdict looming large over their heads.
“The last few days have been tough on Narsingh. We were running between New Delhi and Sonepat but he trained daily without fail. He was not able to concentrate fully as he was mentally disturbed. But his willpower is really strong and that got him through it all.
"Now it’s behind us. We can start training in earnest and try and hopefully earn the country a medal in Rio. In fact, he told me on Monday 'Now that I've gotten justice, I want to do justice to the country by winning a medal at Rio,'" Jagmal said.
The coach added that Wrestling Federation of India would take a decision on Tuesday on whether Narsingh should be sent to Georgia to train with the rest of the Indian wrestling contingent.