Rio de Janeiro: Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s Olympic dream was thrown into jeopardy on Tuesday after the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, decided to appeal against clean chit given to him in a dope scandal back home.
“WADA has appealed against the NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) clearance in Court of Arbitration (CAS). Now, the hearing is on and the IOA secretary general (Rajeev Mehta) is there with the WADA officials,” said Indian contingent’s chef-de-mission Rakesh Gupta.
Yadav was supposed to begin his campaign on 19 August but now faces the prospect of a career-ending, four-year ban if the CAS upholds WADA’s appeal.
Indian Olympic Association Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said that Yadav’s legal counsel Vidushpat Singhania would fight the case through video conference at the IOC office here at 9am local time on 18 August.
“We are left with two options: to take two-days’ time and fight the case or a time of one month for reply which would have jeopardised his career. His fate will now be decided on 18 August. We will fight till the end,” Mehta told PTI. “We will reply on basis of merit, let’s hope for the best. This is the best option we are left with and now we are living in hope.”
The wrestler began his preparation at the Games Village with training under his coach, but there was more trouble brewing as WADA was not convinced with the clearance.
“They were not convinced by the NADA clearance; so they challenged it in the CAS. The hearing will determine his fate,” Gupta said. Narsingh had tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid, methandienone, in tests conducted on 25 June.
Yadav had claimed that he was victim of a conspiracy by rivals, a theory that was accepted by the NADA, which exonerated him after a hurried appeal.
Meanwhile, on a mixed day for Indian athletes at the Rio Oympic Games, K. Srikanth and P.V. Sindhu kept the medal hopes alive in badminton, but boxers drew a blank after Vikas Krishan was ousted in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
The 21-19, 21-19 win for Srikanth, ranked 11th in the world, lifted India’s spirits on the 10th day of the Games as he became the second men’s shuttler after P. Kashyap in the London Games four years ago to reach the last eight in men’s singles.
Later, Sindhu advanced to the quarterfinals of the women’s singles competition after notching up a dominating straight-game win over Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying (21-13 21-15).
However, India’s slim hopes of a medal in the women’s 3000m steeplechse disappeared after Lalita Babar, the first Indian track athlete to qualify for an Olympic final in 32 years, could finish only 10th in 9 minutes, 22.74 seconds.