Narsingh 'saboteur' identified? Rana named ‘replacement’

United World Wrestling (UWW), the governing body for wrestling, announced that Parveen Rana will replace Narsingh Yadav in the 74kg freestyle category in the Rio Olympics even as latter claimed to have identified the person who tried to spike his food on June 5.

Parveen Rana (right) will replace Narsingh Yadav in the Rio squad if the latter fails to prove his innocence.   -  Sushil Kumar Verma

In a twist to the doping scandal involving Narsingh Yadav, the wrestler and the cook at the SAI Training Centre have claimed to have identified the person who tried to spike his food on June 5.

According to sources close to Narsingh, the person was part of the cadet wrestling camp and brother of another senior National camper considered close to a prominent wrestler.

Narsingh is expected to submit proof to the NADA disciplinary panel during his hearing on Wednesday. Sources have also confirmed that Narsingh is planning to file a criminal complaint against the accused with the Sonepat police.

United World Wrestling (UWW), the governing body for wrestling, has announced that Parveen Rana will replace Narsingh Yadav in the 74kg freestyle category in the Rio Olympics.

Acting on a National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) report, the UWW took the decision of replacing Narsingh, who tested positive for a banned steroid in an out-of-competition test conducted at the National camp in Sonepat a few weeks ago.

“A report filed by the NADA last week states that 74kg freestyle wrestler Narsingh has failed an out-of-competition anti-doping test.

“Narsingh, who qualified his nation for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro at the 2015 World championship in Las Vegas, has been provisionally suspended by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and is restricted from competing at the Rio Games,” said UWW.

Narsingh, who had a feud with two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar over the particular quota place and managed to retain it following a court verdict, had alleged ‘foul play’ in his positive dope test.

Even his room-mate Sandeep Yadav, who is nursing an injury and is not scheduled to take part in any competition in the near future, had returned a positive for the same banned substance.

Even as the NADA disciplinary panel is expected to conduct its final hearing and take its decision on Narsingh’s doping case on Wednesday, the UWW decision has come as a big jolt to the World championship bronze medallist’s ambitions.

“UWW informed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) last week that since the positive test occurred outside of the qualification event, they would be allowed to replace Yadav with another wrestler or else vacate the qualification spot.

“The IOA informed UWW of their desire to enter Parveen Rana as their nation’s replacement at 74kg in men’s freestyle,” said UWW.

The 24-year-old Rana, a 2011 World junior bonze medallist and a 2012 Asian championship bronze medallist, belongs to the akhara at the Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi and has modelled his wrestling on his idol Sushil Kumar’s style.

WFI clarifies

Meanwhile, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has clarified that Parveen’s name has been sent as a standby to make sure that India doesn’t lose a quota spot.

The WFI officials confirmed that in case Narsingh is exonerated, or let off with a reprimand, he remains India’s first choice in the 74kg freestyle event.