Rio-bound wrestler Narsingh Yadav has reportedly tested positive for a banned substance. Though NADA was initially dragging its feet over announcing the development officially, sources in the Wrestling Federation of India have confirmed the news.
NADA, India’s anti-doping agency later confirmed the news. “Narsingh tested positive for a banned steroid,” NADA Director General Navin Agarwaltold news agencies. “His B sample was also found to be positive. Narsingh was personally present when his B sample was opened,” added the NADA chief.
Narsingh had given blood samples for testing on July 5, before he left for Spain to take part in an invitation tournament — a warm-up event for the wrestlers ahead of the Olympics.
The report of his ‘A’ sample test came out positive. Later, he was called for his ‘B’ sample test, which also returned positive. “He appeared before a disciplinary panel yesterday. The panel sought for more reports regarding the matter. We will proceed further and I am hoping that the panel will proceed quickly,” added the DG.
On whether the 74-kg freestyle wrestler would now miss the Rio Olympics, NADA felt it was still a bit early to speculate. “It is too early to comment in that regard. We will try to complete the whole thing quickly. I cannot speculate on that.”
Within the wrestling circles, there is disbelief. While chief coach Jagminder would not take calls all morning, a Wrestling Federation of India official confirmed the news on condition of anonymity. “I got the news last night that there is inconsistency in the sample given by Narsingh before he left for an invitational tournament in Spain earlier this month,” said an official. “Since it is a holiday today (Sunday) we are yet to receive any official intimation about it from NADA. That will happen tomorrow (Monday) and we are confident about Narsingh being clean and will retest him to make things clear.”
But typically, the Indian Olympic Association was the last to know of the development. “We are yet to receive anything on Narsingh from NADA, WADA or even the WFI,” IOA secretary Rajeev Mehta said.
Mehta added that, “The Olympic organising committee is in touch with IOA to know about the development.”
With the controversy surrounding Narsingh’s selection for Rio over double Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar, this current development has spun a few conspiracy theories and many in the wrestling federation doubt that the whole episode is a result of sabotage from “Sushil’s wellwishers”.