New Delhi: The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) on Monday ruled that wrestler Narsingh Yadav has failed to produce any “real evidence ” regarding the sabotage theory he had advanced.

In its full award, the CAS relied on the expert opinion that the wrestler had intentionally took the banned substances in tablet form for more than one occasion.

“…all in all found the sabotage (s) theory possible, but not probable and certainly not grounded in any real evidence. The panel therefore determined that the athlete had failed to satisfy his burden of proof and the panel was satisfied that the most likely explanation was that the athlete simply and intentionally ingested the prohibited substance in tablet form on more than one occasion,” the CAS panel said.

The grappler was banned for four years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, the 27-year-old wrestler in his defence has said that it was a conspiracy against him by a fellow wrestler, who had mixed prohibited substance in his drinks on either June 23 or 24.

“The panel had to weigh circumstantial evidence of the athlete against scientific evidence of WADA to determine whether it was satisfied with the athlete’s position that he did not take the prohibited substance intentionally. The panel is conscious that expert evidence offered by Professor Ayotte may be susceptible to qualification by other expert (s). However, the panel has no reason to question the scientific data and/or her expert testimony,” the full award said.

Narsingh had tested positive for a banned substance ahead of the Rio Olympics on June 25. But he was cleared on August 1 by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) which allowed him to travel to Rio.

NADA postponed its verdict twice in July and later while giving him the clean chit, said he “was a victim of sabotage done by a competitor”.

But on August 16 the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) exercised its right to appeal to CAS against NADA’s verdict.

Narsingh Yadav was scheduled to start his Olympic campaign against Zelimkhan Khadjiev of France in the qualification round of the men’s 74kg Freestyle category on August 19, a day after the CAS hearing. He also underwent his weigh-in on Thursday, August 18, the same day when the hearing of his case was scheduled to happen.

CAS upheld WADA’s appeal against the clean chit given to him and ended all his hopes of participating at the quadrennial event.

The ad-hoc division of CAS later slapped a four-year ban on the Uttar Pradesh-born wrestler.

(With inputs from agencies)


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