The Delhi High Court on Monday rapped the CBI for not completing its probe into wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s 2016 complaint alleging that his food was spiked leading to a four-year ban from the sport on the charge of doping.
“Why no action till now? What have you been doing for the past two-and-a-half years? This is the CBI, not some other agency,” Justice Najmi Waziri said, adding that the agency should look at it from the point of view of the sportsperson who has a “short shelf life”, especially in contact sports like wrestling and boxing. “It would not only be a personal loss, it would be a loss to sports and a loss to bring glory to India. Sportsperson have a short shelf life. Also imagine the ignominy of it,” the judge remarked.
Central government standing counsel Ripudaman Singh Bhardwaj, appearing for the agency, submitted that the agency had to question members of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) panel who had taken the decision to slap the four-year ban on Yadav. The counsel said that members of the CAS panel and the scientists involved in the decision-making process were foreign nationals and the agency was sending requests through diplomatic channels for permission to question them.
To which, the court said that it wants to know how the CBI has pursued the matter and asked it to show when it had sent the requests and to whom and what was the response. It also said: “A DIG rank officer shall look into the matter and inform the court within 10 days.”
The judge said the sportsperson had lodged the complaint after the CAS upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) decision not to give a clean chit to Yadav in the doping violation case and asked the CBI why it has not taken any action for the past two-and-a-half years.
It issued a notice to the CBI and asked it to file its response regarding status of the investigation and how it has pursued the matter by the next date of hearing on February 1.
Prior to the CAS decision, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) had cleared Yadav for the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was going to represent India in the men’s freestyle 74kg category.
Yadav approached the high court for speedy disposal of his complaint, saying it has been pending before the agency since 2016.
He claimed that he had made several representations to the agency to complete the probe, but nothing has happened till date.