NARSINGH Yadav has filed a complaint at the Rai police station in Sonepat, accusing a 17-year-old wrestler of allegedly mixing a banned drug in his food that led to him failing a dope test.
On Wednesday, a National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) disciplinary panel hearing will determine if Narsingh can compete in the Olympic Games starting in Rio on August 5. The 26-year-old wrestler has been accused of taking an anabolic steroid, metadienone, and is under provisional suspension.
The teenaged wrestler named in Narsingh’s complaint, filed late on Tuesday, is a trainee at the Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi and has represented the country in junior international tournaments, said sources. Police sources said that an FIR may be filed after seeking legal advice.
Incidentally, Narsingh’s competitor in the 74-kg category, Sushil Kumar, trains at the Chatrasal Stadium under coach Satpal Singh. “It’s a good thing that Narsingh has filed a complaint in the case as it will bring us closer to the truth. If a cadet from Chatrasal has done this, he will be punished,” said Satpal.
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Asked if he knew the junior wrestler, Satpal said: “I may have seen his face but I can’t remember… I have more than 300 trainees here.” Sources said the teenager is the younger brother of a senior wrestler who was in contention to qualify for the Rio Olympics in the super heavyweight category.
Sources said that the 17-year-old was also a part of the junior national camp at the SAI Sonepat Centre, preparing for selection trials for the junior World Championships in France next month. Narsingh and his roommate Sandeep Yadav, the other wrestler who failed the dope test, were based at the Sonepat centre to participate in the preparatory camp for the Olympics.
Narsingh’s camp hopes that the junior wrestler’s statement will make it clear that the positive dope result was the result of “sabotage”. As per a World Anti Doping Agency rule, the witness will have to accept that he added the drug to Narsingh’s food with an intention to benefit his rival if the Rio-bound wrestler is to be exonerated.
The junior wrestler, sources said, was first identified by the cook at the SAI Sonepat centre from a group photograph of the junior team training there. It has been alleged that the minor added an unknown substance in the food being prepared at the hostel kitchen on June 5.
According to Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, the cook caught the young wrestler red-handed and the entire meal was discarded that afternoon.
“Once the cook identified the culprit, Narsingh recalled having seen him sneak into his room on more than one occasion,” said sources.
Meanwhile, the United World Wrestling (UWW) said that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has named Parveen Rana as Narsingh’s “replacement” in the 74-kg category. “United World Wrestling informed the Indian Olympic Association last week that since the positive test occurred outside of the qualification event, they would be allowed to replace Yadav with another wrestler, or else vacate the qualification spot,” the UWW said in a statement.
“The Indian Olympic Association informed United World Wrestling of their desire to enter Parveen Rana as their nation’s replacement in 74 kg in men’s freestyle,” it added.
However, Narsingh can be reinstated if the NADA panel finds him innocent. The decision is expected on Thursday.
— With inputs from Mahender Singh Manral