Narsingh fails dope test, Rio participation doubtful

National Anti-Doping Director General Navin Agarwal confirmed that Narsingh's 'B' sample also tested positive for a banned steroid and he appeared before a NADA disciplinary panel on Saturday.

Narsingh was selected for the Rio Olympics in controversial circumstances as double Olympic medallist Sushil Singh had also staked his claim to represent the country in 74kg freestyle.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Ace wrestler Narsingh Yadav's chances of participating in the Olympics has received a big jolt with the World championship bronze medallist testing positive for a banned substance ahead of the Rio Olympics.

The news sent shock waves across the Indian wrestling fraternity and triggered speculation as to what would happen to the 74kg freestyle quota place in case Narsingh was held guilty of an anti-doping rule violation by the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel.

Without naming the wrestler, the Union Sports Ministry issued a statement on Sunday morning to confirm the positive result. “One wrestler has been detected by NADA as dope positive. An Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) has been constituted by NADA under its rules for hearing the case. The first hearing was held on Saturday in which the wrestler was given an opportunity to defend himself.

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“After the hearing, the panel has asked NADA for some further reports. After these reports are received, the panel would hold further hearing in the matter,” said the release.

If found guilty Narsingh could face a suspension of up to four years.

NADA Director General Navin Agarwal confirmed the wrestler's identity to different news agencies.

It is learnt that NADA had collected Narsingh's samples on July 5 ahead of his departure for Spain to take part in an invitational event and the 26-year-old returned a positive result for a steroid, methandienone.

Narsingh was in the news because of his feud with two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar over the 74kg Olympic quota place. Narsingh had qualified for the Olympics by winning a World championship bronze medal, while Sushil demanded a trial between him and Narsingh to ascertain who would represent the country in that particular weight.

With the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) sticking to the tradition of sending quota place winning wrestlers to the Olympics, Sushil moved the Delhi High Court over the issue. The issue was settled after the court ruled in favour of Narsingh.

However, there were threats to the Mumbai-based Narsingh at the national camp at Sonepat and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the WFI had brought this matter to the notice of Haryana Police.

Following Narsingh's positive result, strong rumour did the round about his food supplement being 'sabotaged.' The theory gained ground with Narsingh coming on a television channel to claim “conspiracy” against him.

The possibility of Narsingh's food supplement containing banned substance came as a surprise to a few as he and a few other Olympic-bound wrestlers procured their food supplement from the same source through an identical route.

It is believed that the NADA panel has ordered Narsingh's food supplement to be tested in an accredited lab to get more clarity in this regard.

Even as the WFI is tight-lipped about how it would deal with the situation, in the scenario of Narsingh being found guilty of an anti-doping rule violation India is likely to forego its 74kg freestyle slot in the Olympics since the deadline for the submission of entries to the Organizing Olympic Committee (IOC) had expired on July 18.

In 2008, weightlifter Monika Devi was withdrawn from the contingent for the Beijing Olympics hours before departure from New Delhi following a positive result and her slot was left vacant in the Games.

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