India will field Parveen Rana as the replacement for Narsingh Yadav in the 74kg freestyle category at the Rio Olympics, the world wrestling body announced on its website on Tuesday.
Narsingh Yadav tested positive for a banned substance and the announcement on Sunday virtually left him of the Games. Although Narsingh has insisted that he is a victim to a conspiracy and authorities are inquiring into it, his chances of going to the Rio Games -- starting on August 5 -- are nearly over. Narsingh had tested positive for metadienone, an anabolic steroid.
The Wrestling Federation of India had initially included Jitender as the standby for Narsingh, that ruled double Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar out of the race to replace the dope-tainted wrestler.
However, the United World Wrestling statement said it informed the Indian federation that because the positive test happened out of competition, they would be allowed to replace Narsingh Yadav or give up the qualification spot. Narsingh had won the qualification by winning the bronze medal at the world championships held in Las Vegas in November.
“The Indian Olympic Association informed United World Wrestling of their desire to enter Parveen Rana as their nation’s replacement at 74kg in men’s freestyle,” the UWW statement said.
Rana, 23, is regarded as Sushil Kumar’s understudy at Delhi’s Chhattrasal Stadium. He had also represented India in the weight category at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, which Sushil missed due to injury.
He had moved up from 66kg to 74kg division when Sushil made that transition. He has been Sushil’s sparring partner and won the 2008 Youth Commonwealth Games in Pune. In the seniors, his best performance is a bronze in 66kg at the Asian championships.