Spiked dal? How CBI punched holes in Narsingh Yadav, NADA theorieshttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/how-cbi-punched-holes-in-narsingh-yadav-nada-theories-5609619/

Spiked dal? How CBI punched holes in Narsingh Yadav, NADA theories

Investigation agency relies on WADA report, awaits expert witness’s statement before closing the case.

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Narsingh Yadav had alleged that his food was spiked at the behest of his rivals. (File)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has banked on the statements and findings of reputed international and national organisations to urge the Delhi High Court to dismiss wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s writ petition against his dope ban. Sources said the CBI, while picking holes in National Anti-Doping Agency’s (NADA) 2016 clean-chit to Yadav, has extensively quoted World Anti Doping Agency’s (WADA) expert witness Dr Christine Ayotte from Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) hearing in August 2016.

Three years ago, NADA’s three-member disciplinary panel had exonerated Yadav, believing the wrestler’s sabotage theory that it was his rival who had allegedly spiked the dal he was served while at the national camp at Sports Authority of India’s Sonepat Centre. However, WADA had countered its Indian counterpart’s decision at the CAS hearing. Yadav was subsequently banned for four years.

It is learnt that the CBI, to further firm their argument, has also taken the opinion of the Medical Board of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), Rohtak, that was found to be consistent with Ayotte’s observations. Yadav was originally selected to represent the country in the 74-kg category but was tested positive for the banned drug, methandienone, three weeks before the start of the 2016 Olympics. The drug, it is learnt, can be detected in urine samples for up to 19 days after oral or injected consumption.

Apart from claiming that he was a ‘victim of sabotage’, NADA had cited Yadav’s ‘clean past’ as one of the key reasons to exonerate him. But sources said the CBI, during its investigation, found out there was considerable gap between two consecutive tests conducted on Yadav.

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It is learnt that Yadav was tested just nine times in five years from 2011 to 2016 and before his urine sample was collected on June 2, 2016, he was not tested at all by NADA for nearly two years. They conducted another surprise test on him upon the world body’s insistence, on June 25, 2016. The result of that test returned positive. It was for the first time that Yadav was tested twice in the same month by the anti-doping watchdog.

Yadav alleged that his “meal/drink” was spiked and this was orchestrated by his rival to keep him away from the Rio Olympics. The Mumbai-based wrestler was indirectly pointing a finger at India’s most successful wrestler ever, the two-times Olympics medallist Sushil Kumar. In his complaint, Yadav claimed that a junior wrestler, Jitesh, said to be from Sushil’s akhada, had tried to spike the “tadka” of his dal with methandienone.

Sources said the CBI has told the Delhi High Court that Ayotte’s testimony before the CAS is in total contrast with Yadav’s sabotage complaint. During the CAS hearing, Ayotte had concluded: “There was at least 12 to 20 hours difference between the ingestion of the prohibited substance by the athlete and his roommate… The ingestion was from a therapeutic dose, rather than from a suspension in water.”

Quoting Ayotte’s observations, the CAS stated in its report: “The expert evidence (by Ayotte) was that this was not a one-time ingestion (the reading of the long term metabolite in his second test was consistent with a second ingestion towards the end of June 2016).”

The CBI, sources said, had sought a statement from Ayotte on the issue, which was expected to be filed with the bureau by the end of January. The CBI is likely to submit her statement to the high court during the next hearing on March 5.