Rio de Janeiro:
Dejected by the four-year ban imposed on Narsingh Yadav by CAS, the Indian Olympic Association has said that the embattled wrestler has been “defeated by compatriots” rather than opponents.
Narsingh’s fortunes took a turn for the worse when he was ousted from the Olympics and slapped with a four-year ban for flunking a dope test after Court of Arbitration for Sports overturned the clean chit given to him by the National Anti-Doping Agency.
“It’s not a just loss for Narsingh at the Court of Arbitration for Sports but he was beaten by his compatriots who did not want to let him compete at the Olympics and not by his opponents,” IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta told PTI after the CAS verdict.
“The picture is clear and neither I nor anyone has to say who’s done the foul play. If you go back, you can easily connect the dots and would clearly know who could be the suspect.
“As of now, the culprits have been successful in stopping him from the Olympics, though we may challenge the order and minimise the ban. It’s a loss for the country.”
Further hinting at a conspiracy theory, Mehta added, “We must go deep into the matter and the government should initiate a CBI inquiry into the matter. It’s not a small thing, it’s plaguing our country’s sport and we must nip this in the bud.
“Days after he won the battle at the Delhi High Court, a phone call came from his SAI centre in Sonipat about some doping activities, the raid happened and his sample was found positive. It cannot be sheer coincidence.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had appealed against the NADA all-clear to Narsingh at CAS, three days ahead of his scheduled opening bout at the Olympics.
Mehta was part of the four-hour long marathon hearing here. The verdict marked a painful end to the sordid controversy which began with the wrestler failing a June 25 test.
The embattled 74kg category grappler has maintained all along that his scandalous dope test was a result of the conspiracy by rivals who spiked his food or drinks.
Having grabbed the quota by virtue of his World Championships bronze in Las Vegas last year, Narsingh’s road to Rio was fraught with obstacles after he was named to represent India ahead of double Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar.
Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar dragged Narsingh to the Delhi High Court and a bitter courtroom tussle followed but the judgement went in latter’s favour.