Hours after the Wrestling Federation of India named Praveen Rana as embattled wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s replacement, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Wednesday said as per rules no player in the Olympics squad can be substituted if he or she has been suspended for failing dope test.
“If an anti-doping panel has suspended a player provisionally and the final report has come then no player can be substituted. In case a player is seriously unwell then under extraordinary circumstances the concerned agency considers the replacement.I don’t think any person is allowed to take the place of another if the original player has failed the dope test,” Goel told the media.
Earlier in the day, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh confirmed that they had named Praveen Rana as replacement for Narsingh, who was tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid, two weeks before the Rio Olympics. He was later called for his ‘B’ sample test, which also turned out to be positive.
“We were told that if you don’t change the name, India’s quota will not be valid and will be allotted to some other country. We couldn’t wait much, we sent Praveen Rana’s name as suggested by the chief coach in written. But I have mentioned in the noting that the probe is on and hearing is due to take place on 27th. If Narsingh comes out clean then we will request you to consider him,” Bhushan had said.
WATCH VIDEO: Narsingh Yadav Dope Controversy Hearing At NADA
Reflecting on the same, Goel said he has put forth his opinions according to the rules while adding that he wouldn’t have any objection if the player would be substituted with permission.
“I have put forth my opinion clearly stating rules, but even after that if any player goes with permission, we have no objection,” Goel said.
The 26-year-old tainted grappler, who bagged the quota in the 74kg category with a bronze medal finish in last year’s World Championships, will be appearing before a NADA panel later this week for final hearing.
Interestingly, Narsingh was selected for the Rio Olympics in controversial circumstances as two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar had demanded for trials to determine who should go to the games.
However, Narsingh was favoured for the same after fighting a lengthy legal battle with Sushil.
A day after Narsingh failed the dope test, his roommate Sandeep Tulsi Yadav at SAI (Sports Authority of India), Sonepat, also tested positive for the same substance as the Rio-bound athlete.