The suspense over wrestler Narsingh Yadav's Olympic participation was today prolonged further after the National Anti-Doping Agency deferred its final verdict on the doping scandal surrounding him to Saturday or Monday at the end of a two-day hearing here.
A day after Narsingh and his lawyers presented their case on the failed dope test, which according to them, was a conspiracy against the grappler, NADA's legal team gave its arguments against the sabotage theory before the disciplinary committee.
"Hearing has been concluded today. The judgement will come out either on Saturday or Monday," NADA's lawyer Gaurang Kanth told reporters at the end of the hearing today.
"The argument by NADA was that he is not eligible for remission which he has been asking. Narsingh did not produce the relevant circumstantial evidence that there could have been sabotage as had been claimed by them," he added.
"They filed an affidavit that his drinks or water was spiked but they did not produce the evidence to prove it to satisfy NADA and WADA," he argued.
The wrestler, who has alleged the involvement of fellow grapplers in the conspiracy, has already been replaced by Parveen Rana in the Olympic bound squad but will be reinstated if he gets a favourable verdict from NADA.
NADA's lawyer, however, said on Thursday that Narsingh's claims of conspiracy are not backed by sufficient proof.
"We argued that the requirements of due diligence and care which was needed to escape from punishment was not provided as to satisfy the WADA Code. So we said he should be given punishment as appropriate this panel thinks fit," Kanth said.
We opposed Narsingh's contention that he was not negligent and had not committed mistake in not taking due care as an athlete. We said as an international athlete he should have taken due care about his food and drinks. But from what he had produced before the panel there was nothing to prove due care on his part.
"So under WADA Code if he fails to prove due care and diligence he should not be given remission and should be punished. The arguments are over let us see what the panel decides.
Earlier on Wednesday, Narsingh and his battery of lawyers presented their case.
"We have put Narsingh's argument. We have full faith in the NADA panel. We are trying to convince them. We are hopeful he will be exonerated. NADA panel is helpful. We have presented our argument today and panel was very patient and we had a very fair hearing. NADA will present their case tomorrow," Narsingh's lawyer Vidushpat Singhania had said.
On a second successive day of chaos at the NADA headquarters, Narsingh's supporters shouted slogans demanding justice for him.
The wrestler has also filed a police complaint, implicating two fellow wrestlers. However, his supplements have reportedly been found to be clean.
Yes I have identified the person who mixed banned substance in my food, have filed police complaint: Narsingh Yadav pic.twitter.com/ryuAAlEcnW— ANI (@ANI_news) July 27, 2016
Narsingh filed an FIR at the Sonepat Police Station naming two fellow wrestlers, one of them a 17-year-old, and persisted with his demand for a CBI probe into the scandal that has sent shockwaves into the Indian sporting fraternity.
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has backed Narsingh.
Sports Minister Vijay Goel, on the other hand, has stuck to his stand that the government will abide by international rules when it comes to deciding on Narsingh's trip to Rio in the aftermath of the controversy.
Narsingh's hopes of competing in the Olympics had faded further after the wrestler failed a second dope test which was conducted on him on July 5.
It is learnt that Narsingh, already under provisional suspension for failing a June 25 dope test, has also flunked the second test done on his 'A' sample and refused the 'B' sample test.
Narsingh had been picked ahead of two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar after he won the quota place with a bronze medal in the World Championships.
Freestyle wrestler Rana had earlier won a gold medal in the 74kg category at the Dave Schultz Memorial wrestling tournament in USA in 2014.