It was a weekend where his worst nightmares came true as news of Narsingh Yadav testing positive emerged on Sunday. Barely 10 days before the start of the Olympics, this came as a big embarrassment as Narsingh failed a dope test conducted by NADA, a development which has cast doubt on his participation in Rio Games.
But all is not lost from the wrestler from Maharashtra yet.
A report in the Indian Express has revealed that there is a clause in WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) regulations which could yet offer Narsingh some hope of clearing his name, when the hearing goes underway on Wednesday.
Pointing out rule 10.4 in WADA’s 2016 Code, the report says:
“If an athlete or other person establishes in an individual case that he or she bears no fault or negligence, then the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility shall be eliminated. They will only apply in exceptional circumstances, for example, where an athlete could prove that, despite all due care, he or she was sabotaged by a competitor.”
Of course, if Narsingh's camp is to be believed, they strongly feel that this is a conspiracy and have insisted there is a sinister angle to the whole mess. The saga took a twist late on Monday with the grappler alleging that a SAI official was part of the "conspiracy" to frame him even as the national federation threw its weight firmly behind him.
So it seems for Narsingh to go to Olympics, he has to prove beyond doubt what he has been saying since the report emerged -- that all this is a conspiracy.
A day after it was revealed that Narsingh and his roommate Sandeep Yadav had tested positive for banned anabolic steroid metandienone, the Wrestling Federation of India stood by the wrestler, insisting that a conspiracy was at play to stop him from going to Rio.
WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has said Narsingh submitted a written complaint, naming a SAI Sonepat official and also made allegations against a few others, including players.
"In a span of one month, there have been three dope tests conducted on Narsingh and that raises a lot of suspicion. Moreover, even his room partner Sandeep Yadav has tested positive for the same substance," he said.
A defiant Narsingh had also demanded a CBI probe into the scandal.
"There should be a CBI inquiry. The whole episode relating to my selection had gone to court. There was a CID report that my life is under threat. All this makes it clear that I have been framed so that I am stopped from going to Rio," Narsingh said.
"I have given my complaint to the federation in which I have made it clear that something could have been mixed in the food that was prepared at the mess. It is a conspiracy against me," he added.
The WFI chief said Narsingh's complaint has been forwarded to the Sports Ministry as well.
"The day Narsingh gave the written complaint, I straightaway intimated the Sports Ministry and other important people in the government of India. The government has taken it seriously and a committee of eminent people has been formed who are looking into the matter. I also informed World Wrestling body FILA and NADA about the entire conspiracy.
"I am in constant touch with the world body and have been updating them about every development," he said.
With PTI inputs