WFI president: Narsingh named one SAI official in letter

"Narsingh complained in writing to us that a conspiracy has been hatched against him and I and the entire nation believe him because he has nothing to do with the substance."


Narsingh Yadav (left) with his practice partner at the training camp at SAI Centre, Sonepat near New Delhi.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh today revealed that Narsingh Yadav, caught in a dope scandal, has named a SAI Sonepat official and a few others, including players, in a written complaint to WFI.

After testing positive for a banned substance, Narsingh claimed innocence, saying that the scandal is a conspiracy against him.

"Narsingh Yadav has submitted a written complaint to the WFI on July 19, in which he has mentioned name of one SAI official and also made allegations against a few other people, including players," Singh said.

WFI was quick to defend Narsingh and said that it was a clear case of sabotage.

"In a span of one month, there have been three dope tests conducted on Narsingh and that raises a lot of suspicion. Moreover, even his room partner Sandeep Yadav has tested positive for the same substance."

"The day Narsingh gave the written complaint, I straightaway intimated the Sports Ministry and other important people in the Government of India. The government has taken it seriously and a committee of eminent people is formed who are looking into the matter. I also informed World Wrestling body, NADA about the entire conspiracy. I am in constant touch with the world body and have been updating them about every development," he said.

Singh said Narsingh was warned by SAI DG Injeti Srinivas not to come to Sonepat for the camp, but the grappler refused.

"After Haryana police gave a report that Narsingh is in danger, SAI DG personally requested Narsingh not to go to Sonepat and practice somewhere else. But he refused, saying that the chief coach, foreign coach and other Rio probables are there. And he would also get sparring partners easily."

"I feel DG SAI was right in giving him a warning. But since nothing like this had ever happened earlier, we also did not take the warning too seriously," admitted Singh.

Asked if someone would replace Narsingh for the Rio Games if he is not cleared of the charges, Singh said: "WFI will consult with the chief coach and take his opinion on who is fit to go. In India, we have a huge talent pool and I am sure someone good can replace Narsingh."

Asked if WFI has demanded any criminal investigation into the doping scandal, Singh said: "That would happen in any case. NADA will conduct a final hearing of Narsingh on Wednesday. They look at all aspects like what food, supplements one is taking, what medicines etc. By Thursday the judgement will come out."

"The NADA committee formed to hear Narsingh's case will hold its final hearing on Wednesday. I hope they will examine all aspects, and on Thursday I hope we will get the clearer picture," he said.

Singh made it clear that WFI cannot launch an investigation on its own.

"WFI cannot launch an investigation. Coach and players are under us. The chief coach is the most responsible person and I have spoken to the chief coach and he has told me that he would say it on record that Narsingh hasn't taken any banned substance intentionally," he said.

Asked why the federation is backing Narsingh so much, Singh said there were enough indications of foul play.

"It is our duty to protect Narsingh and all our wrestlers. Moreover, Narsingh's record is clean. He is someone who never shied away from dope tests. The chief coach as well as people from NADA, who take the tests, say that Narsingh is ever ready to appear for a test," Brij Bhushan said.

"Narsingh complained in writing to us that a conspiracy has been hatched against him and I and the entire nation believe him because he has nothing to do with the substance. Moreover, I feel, had Narsingh used any banned medicine he would not have fought during the competition in Spain but he never shied away from it. And he also bagged a medal there."

"We feel that Narsingh has been a victim of injustice and we are hopeful that Narsingh will get justice. I will try my level best to help him get out of this problem so that he is the one to represent India in 74kg in the Olympics and win a medal," said Singh.

Insisting that something like this has never happened in Indian wrestling and thus it is something to be pondered upon, Singh said: "Till date 120 wrestlers have qualified for the Olympics from India but not a single athlete has ever tested positive for any banned substance. This has happened for the first time and it is something to ponder upon."

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