New Delhi: Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said on Wednesday that if Narsingh Yadav is cleared of doping charges by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA), then he will fight another battle for the grappler’s berth for the Rio Olympics.
Narsingh’s chances of participating in the upcoming Rio Olympics came under a cloud last Sunday when he returned a positive result for a dope test conducted by the NADA on June 25.
Following this, Narsingh, who was selected to represent the country in the men’s 74kg freestyle category ahead of two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, was handed a provisional suspension.
The 26-year-old ran into further trouble on Wednesday after it was announced that a second test conducted on July 5 has also returned a positive result.
“Although Praveen Rana has been named as replacement for Yadav if he gets a clean cheat, I am ready to fight another battle for him to secure his Olympic berth,” Singh told IANS.
The WFI had named Praveen Rana for the replacement slot on Monday in order to preserve India’s Olympic quota in the 74kg freestyle category. Singh said that Rana’s name was sent on July 25 — which was the last date for naming replacements — to secure the Olympic quota.
“Rana’s name was sent to secure country’s Olympic quota and the proposal was accepted on July 26. If we wouldn’t have recommended Rana’s name, we would have missed our quota,” he said.
He also said that chances of Yadav participating in the Rio Olympics have not completely diminished.
“His road to the Olympics has not completely ended. Now, it’s up to Yadav to prove his innocence. Once given clean cheat, he will go for the Olympics,” he said.
Singh also refuted the claims of Sports Minister Vijay Goel that no player in the Olympics squad can be substituted if he or she has been suspended by an anti-doping panel.
“The minister is unaware of the rules. He is saying such things due to lack of information. Rana’s name has already been accepted,” he said.
Narsingh had claimed of a conspiracy to frame him and had filed a police report in this regard, although he refrained from naming anyone.
“I have always maintained that there has been a conspiracy against me. If I am cleared of the charges, I will go to Rio. I have identified the boy who was seen contaminating my food. I have given a detailed complaint to the police,” Narsingh told the media on Tuesday after filing his police complaint.
“I feel even officials are involved because I am not being provided the CCTV footage,” he added.
Singh backed Narsingh’s claims and asserted that a conspiracy was hatched to stop the wrestler from participating in the Olympics and this needs to be exposed in order to secure future generations of sportspersons.
“I have been saying since the beginning that a conspiracy was hatched to stop him from Rio Olympics. The cook at SAI centre in Sonipat has identified a wrestler named Jitesh. He is brother of a known wrestler of Chatrasal akhada. Two other people have also identified him. This is a clear case of conspiracy,” he said.
“We suspect Jitesh, who fights in the 75kg category, and Sumit. Both of them live in Chhatarsaal. And one of them has admitted to spiking Narsingh’s food. I can’t say on the conspiracy and can’t say whether they did this on their own or on someone’s asking.”
Singh, an MP from Gonda in Uttar Pradesh also sought a CBI probe into the whole affair.
“The matter needs to be probed by CBI as it is related to future of youth of the country,” he said.
“He has been an Olympian. Has played more than 50 international games. He knows very well that what should be eat and what shouldn’t. How can he make such mistake,” Singh said.