In 2012, weeks before the Indian contingent was to leave for the London Olympics, there was nervousness and controversy as Leander Paes, Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi were not happy with their respective partners. This led to numerous unfavourable media comments and in the end, tennis didn’t have happy faces thronging the courts of All England Club.
Now, four years later, we’re ten days from the opening ceremony of Rio Olympics. Tennis almost had another controversy but cool heads prevailed. But, we have another controversy hurting the contingent before the big event. Narsingh Yadav – wrestler in 74kg freestyle category – and Inderjeet Singh – shot putter – have tested positive before the team were to leave for the South American city. There is a common thread between the two cases even though they were conducted in different locations – both men have cried foul claiming their tests have been tampered with and asked for a proper probe.
Narsingh is going into the Olympics after a rather horrid legal affair against Sushil Kumar with the latter claiming he should have the chance to represent the country in Rio even though Narsingh won the medal and the quota place for the country. The courts ruled Narsingh had done enough to keep his spot and denied Sushil’s request for a competition between the two.
Now, with just less than two weeks to go, both of Narsingh’s samples have tested positive in out-of-competition checks by NADA. The wrestler was allowed to present his case and he’s maintained his innoncence. Additionally, he’s said his food in the mess is likely to have been tampered with. To make his case stronger, his rommate Sandeep Yadav has also tested positive even though he’s not competing in Rio or for some time.
WATCH VIDEO: Narsingh Yadav Dope Controversy Hearing At NADA
Narsingh has since written to the Prime Minister’s office and has the support of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
If that wasn’t enough, shot-putter Inderjeet’s ‘A’ sample has tested positive and he has the chance to ask for a re-test of ‘B’ sample to prove innocence. But for now, the athlete claims the allegations are untrue, unjust and bound to kill his career. He also alleges that he’s being framed for his outspoken nature against Indian athletics administration. So far, no one has come forward to defend Inderjeet who was the first athlete to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
With ten days to go, more names could enter this list of dopers which NADA DG claims is expected in a contingent of of more than 100. But question remains of what will happen to Narsingh and Inderjeet – both of whom are seasoned professionals and contenders for a medal. Further, what psychological impact can it have on fellow wrestlers and athletes remains to be seen.