New Delhi, Sep 8, 2020-
Ace wrestler Narsingh Yadav, who was banned for four years for failing dope tests in 2016, still believes that his food and water was spiked at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Sonepat, and questioned the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for the delay in catching the culprits.
However, sources told that the CBI had filed the closure report in a court last year after finding nothing “fishy” in the case. “Narsingh’s lawyers had filed a protest petition after our closure report. But till date, we haven’t received any information from the court. There was nothing fishy nor was it a case of sabotage,” said a source.
Narsingh, however, claimed that the investigative agency was still working on the case. “I have full faith that I would be proved innocent. I got to know that the CBI had filed a closure report of my case, but when I spoke to the officials they said that the case was still on. The CBI is still inquiring. I don’t know what took so long for such a big investigative agency to sort out my small case. I will wait for justice,” said the Maharashtra wrestler.
The 31-year-old grappler has now joined the national camp at the SAI centre in Sonepat, the same place where he claims his life “changed drastically”. He is undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine period. The national camp is scheduled to begin from September 15.
“I have come back to the place where it all started. My life changed from that day. I faced a lot of criticism in these four years, but thanks are due to my family and friends who stood by me. For any athlete a four-year ban is a long time and that too if you are innocent,” he said. “I am more careful now. I eat food provided by SAI in my room. I don’t want to take any chances now.”
The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics has given a chance to Narsingh to still live his dream of competing in the mega sporting spectacle one more time. His dope ban got over in July and he is now deeply focused on qualifying for the Olympics next year. “By the grace of God, I have got another chance and will not let it go like this only,” he said.
Yadav had qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics after having won a bronze at the World Championships. But Sushil, who had missed the 2016 Summer Games qualification event due to an injury, asked for a trial between himself and Narsingh and moved the Delhi High Court.
After Sushil’s appeal was rejected, it was confirmed that Narsingh would go to Rio. However, Yadav failed two anti-doping tests. He tested positive for methandienone, which he asserted was to “sabotage” his chances of competing at the Olympics, following which he was given a clean chit by National Anti-Doping Agency.
The World Anti-Doping Agency later challenged the decision and the case was moved to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). A day prior to Yadav’s first bout at the Olympics, on August 18, 2016, CAS handed him a four-year ban.
Asked if he has still carries a grudge against Sushil, Narsingh said he now wants to move ahead. “Past is history. I don’t want to get into it now. But I just want whatever happened to me should not happen to other players,” he said. (Agency)