Slow Police Probe Shut Out Narsingh’s Chances: WFI Chief


New Delhi: The blame game in Narsingh Yadav ‘s dope case has begun all over again. While most are blaming the Wrestling Federation of India for letting India go unrepresented in the men’s freestyle 74kg despite earning the quota, the WFI accused officials of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), Sports Authority of India (SAI) and slow-moving investigation on part of the Haryana police for the fiasco.

“The country and Narsingh have lost out on an Olympic medal. Looking at the draw, any one would place their bets on Narsingh making the finals,” WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said.

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The world anti-doping body (WADA) challenged the clean chit given by NADA and Narsingh was handed a four-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS ) following a meeting in Rio de Janeiro. Highlighting the hearing that took place at the Olympic Games village on August 18, a day before Narsingh’s bout, Singh said they were asked about the status of enquiry back home.

“The hearing went on for almost four hours and I was present there. It was CAS’s medicine expert Christiane Ayotte who was of the opinion that Narsingh has taken methandienone orally, in the form of medicine. The first question CAS asked was the status of police investigation in India. We tried to explain to them that all these investigations take time and that’s how our country’s judicial system works. But they wanted to know what steps were taken by the police in such an important matter,” he pointed. “Had the Haryana police arrested the accused, it would have been easier for us to convince CAS to allow Narsingh to compete as the draw had been made. The police are definitely responsible for not conducting any inquiry despite the FIR,” he added.

Narsingh had returned positive for anabolic substance methandienone on tests conducted on June 25 and again on July 5. Both samples contained long-term metabolites of methandienone.

“WADA made an appeal on August 13 and we learnt about it on reaching Rio (August 15). We were not prepared and couldn’t get our lawyer at such short notice. We learnt a few things at the hearing (August 18) when WADA asked NADA officials on the need to conduct test on July 5 when Narsingh was already tested on June 25. The official said they received a complaint of wrongdoings from SAI Sonepat on July 4, a day before Narsingh was tested, and it was on the basis of the complaint that NADA had conducted test again on July 5,” Singh said.

“May be the conspirators were not sure if the damage was done and they spiked the food again and that’s the reason the content was higher in the tests on July 5. A junior employee from SAI was named there and when I asked him (NADA official) for a copy of complaint to our lawyer he called the office but the clerk made an excuse that it was an off day. We are yet to receive that information. I am sure some junior NADA officials are also involved in this conspiracy,” he added.

The WFI had named Praveen Rana as Narsingh’s replacement, but after clean chit from NADA, the national body requested to include Narsingh again. “It was only after clearance from NADA that WFI cleared Narsingh.