Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s Rio 2016 dreams were crushed a mere 14 hours before his scheduled match after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal against the clean chit given to him in a dope scandal by NADA (India’s National Anti-Doping Agency).
He was also handed an immediate four-year ban.
Narsingh’s name had earlier appeared in the official schedule of his event which was released after he underwent the regular weigh-in. He was supposed to take on France’s Zelimkhan Khadjiev in the qualification round. However, it all depended on the ruling of the CAS. As it stands, not only is Narsingh’s Olympic dream over, but his career is also in jeopardy with such a lengthy ban.
The embattled 74kg category grappler had continued to maintain that his scandalous dope test was a result of conspiracy by rivals who spiked his food or drinks.
He had grabbed the quota by virtue of his bronze in Las Vegas 2015, but Narsingh’s road to Rio was fraught with obstacles after he was named to represent India ahead of double Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar.
Sushil dragged Narsingh to Delhi High Court and a bitter courtroom tussle followed but the judgement went in latter’s favour.
There was more drama in store for the Asian Games bronze-medallist after he returned positive for a banned steroid following a dope test in June by the NADA.
Narsingh’s roommate at the SAI centre in Sonipat also tested positive for the same substance but WFI backed the Mumbai-based wrestler’s claims of a foul-play.
But days before the Olympics, Narsingh was cleared of doping charges by NADA who said the wrestler was indeed a victim of ‘sabotage’ and deserved the benefit of doubt.
However, his hopes were dealt a massive blow when WADA challenged the NADA’s decision and moved the CAS amid speculation that the wrestler may face a ban up to four years – which eventually happened.
Feature image source: AFP