How and when did you come to know about the failed dope test?
I was at Sports Authority of India’s Sonepat Centre when I got a call from the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) on June 19. They asked for my email id, which I gave. A few moments later, I received a mail from them which said I had failed a dope test. I froze. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I hadn’t taken anything illegal in my life and suddenly, they said I have tested positive. I was shocked.
Have you heard of the drug (metadienone) which they have accused you of taking?
No. This is the first time I have heard of this drug. I had not heard of it before. I asked my doctor about it and he explained what this drug does.
Whatever this drug is, it is not of any use to a sportsman. It is for muscle development. It is of no use in wrestling. Why would I dope so close to the Olympics? Why would any athlete do that? Life ki baat hoti hai (It’s about my life). I have been preparing this moment for the last four years. Now, with just four weeks before Olympics, why would I do something so silly?
So how did it enter your body?
It’s a conspiracy against me. They have planned everything. I have been wrestling for the last 15 years. I have been to so many international competitions and have been tested several times. I have undergone almost 25-30 dope tests and cleared each and every one. Whenever NADA guys have come, I have given my sample to them without any fuss. It is my duty to do that.
Someone is trying to frame me on purpose. They are trying to stop me from going to the Olympics. There should be a proper investigation and those involved behind this should be given a strict punishment and I should be sent to Rio.
I have been training very hard for the Olympics, made so many sacrifices. Medal was my only target.
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Who do you think is behind this?
Right now I wouldn’t like to name anyone. But whoever has done this should realise it’s a terrible thing to do. There should be a proper investigation and those behind this should be brought to task.
Did you feel anything strange at the SAI Centre during the camp?
The Haryana CID had reported (in June) that there is a threat to my life. Back then, I thought it would be a physical threat. Round-the-clock security was provided to me and I was very careful in every move I made. But I never thought some people would stoop to this level. Ghatiya harkat hai yeh. They are playing with my career.
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It is learnt that your roommate Sandeep Yadav (2013 World Championship bronze medallist in Greco-Roman style) has also tested positive for the same substance…
Yes, he has too. We eat food from the hostel mess. Someone has put this (drug) either in our food or the supplements we take because I and Sandeep stay and train together. We take the same supplements. Sandeep does not have a competition any time soon in his category so why would he take such a risk? He wasn’t even going to the Olympics. Someone has planned this meticulously to trap us.
Did the two of you eat food in your room or at the hostel mess?
We used to eat food prepared in the hostel mess, at times in our rooms and on some occasions in the dining hall. But since we know each other for a very long time, we used to eat together. And our supplements were the same.
Have you been able to focus on training since you were told of the positive dope test?
I have been training very hard and was very happy with the way things were shaping up. But then this has just thrown me off my guard. Bhaisaab, life ki baat hai. Neend ud gayi hai. I am extremely upset and very disturbed. I hope NADA will believe me.