New Delhi: After being exonerated of doping charges by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) panel, a relieved Narsingh Yadav on Monday said he was happy that the truth finally prevailed and can’t wait to win a medal at Rio.
Yadav’s dream of representing India at the Rio Olympics could now come true after the NADA panel gave him a clean chit in the doping case.
Narsingh, on his part, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who intervened in solving the matter speedily.
“I am grateful to the Prime Minister, Sports Ministry, Wrestling Federation of India and media for supporting and having faith in me and standing by the truth,” Narsingh said.
“I am very happy, I can’t wait to win for my nation in the Olympics,” he added.
The wrestler’s supporters erupted in celebration outside the NADA office soon after the verdict.
The 24-year-old, who earlier had to overcome legal hurdles to participate in Rio in competition with two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, was exonerated by the NADA panel, which termed him “a victim of sabotage”.
Calling Narsingh innocent, NADA director general Navin Agarwal said: “There is no fault and negligence on Narsingh’s part. He was a victim of sabotage done by a competitor.”
“Panel is of the opinion that while practising it is impossible to keep a watch on drinks, cannot be held as failure on athlete’s part.”
“The panel is of the opinion that one time ingestion by Narsingh Yadav was not within his knowledge and strengthens his claim,” he added.
The disciplinary panel of NADA had concluded its hearing on Narsingh on Thursday.
Narsingh, who bagged the quota with a bronze medal finish in last year’s World Championships, first returned positive for a banned steroid after a dope test conducted by the NADA on June 25.
The wrestler’s ‘B’ sample also tested positive for a banned substance, jeopardising his chances of competing in what would have been his second Olympics. Following this, Narsingh was handed a provisional suspension.
He ran into further trouble on Wednesday after it was announced that a second test conducted on July 5 has also returned a positive result.
While Narsingh and his lawyers had claimed of a conspiracy to frame him and had filed a police report in this regard, the legal representative of the NADA on Thursday said the wrestler has not been able to convincingly prove his claims that his food had been spiked.
After Monday’s verdict, Narsingh is now free to participate in the 74kg freestyle category at the Rio Games, starting August 5.
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh had earlier asserted that he will fight to send Narsingh to Rio if he gets the clearance from NADA.
The WFI had sent Parveen Rana as a replacement in order to secure India’s quota in the 74kg freestyle category.