Conspiracy theories abound as doping row deepens

Conspired Sports (Photos: Vijay Pandey/Tehelka)
Conspired Sports (Photos: Vijay Pandey/Tehelka)

The clean chit given by National Anti-Doping Association to wrestler Narsingh Yadav in doping case and allowing him to participate in the Rio Olympics has cheered sporting community worldwide thus putting at rest speculation and giving a new twist to conspiracy allegations.

NADA DG Naveen Agarwal while reading out the verdict observed “There is no fault and negligence on Narsingh Yadav’s part, he is a victim of sabotage done by a competitor. We kept in mind that in the past, until June 2, none of his samples were positive. It was inconceivable that one-time ingestion would be of benefit. Therefore the panel is of the view that the one-time ingestion was not intentional”. The panel concluded by saying that the wrestler deserves the benefit of article 10.4 of NADA’s anti-doping code.

The wrestler also called on the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who met the wrestler at his office in Parliament House soon after the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting, also assured the wrestler that no injustice will be done to him. “The Prime Minister gave his best wishes to me and asked me to be carefree and participate in Olympics without any tension. He asked me to focus on winning medals for the country. He also assured me that no injustice will be done to me,” Yadav said after the meeting.

The dope test on Narsingh Yadav, selection of Parveen Rana and slighting of double Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has snowballed into a major controversy, belittling not only individual sportspersons, and WFI but the sports themselves.

While it may be construed that double Olympian Sushil began the controversy by moving Delhi High Court against Narsingh Yadav’s selection for Rio Olympic Games, the WFI should have acted neutral. This is not to denigrate the greatness of Sushil Kumar or Narsingh Yadav.

If at all Narsingh Yadav had to be replaced in view of the results of the said dope test, Sushil should have been an automatic choice. To make the matter uglier, there have been veiled attacks on Sushil and his father-in-law-cum-coach Satpal, alleging a conspiracy to mix Narsingh’s food with banned substances, leading to Yadav testing positive.

NADA by Vijay Pandey

A statement from the ministry confirmed the stance without naming names. It read: “One wrestler has been detected by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) as dope positive. An Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel(ADDP) has been constituted by NADA under its rules for hearing the case. Its first hearing was held yesterday in which the wrestler was given an opportunity to defend himself. 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.”

“ADDP is headed by a legal expert and includes doctors and sportspersons. NADA is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports to check doping in sports. India is committed to the World Anti-Doping code and follows prescribed procedures. The government does not interfere in the day-to- day functioning of NADA and is committed to total transparency and objectivity in matters relating to doping.”

However, the stringent action against Sushil on the basis of allegations which are yet to be proved smacks of vendetta. Another faux pas was committed when Narsingh Yadav accused staff and an officer of Sports Authority of India at Sonipat: the WFI failed to report the matter to police immediately. Obviously, it allowed mess staff and others to tamper with the crucial evidence.

A sting operation has already revealed that there might have been a huge conspiracy to frame Narsingh Yadav.

The sting showed that an intruder spiked Narsingh’s food on June 5 at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Sonipat. Junior wrestlers and a cook have alleged food contamination. The sting found froth coming out of the food which was being prepared. Narsingh has filed a first information report in this connection.

In view of all this, Parveen Rana is India’s entry in 74-kg category in the Olympic Games. It will be a big slap on the face of WFI if Sushil goes to the court again, this time, to convince the judge that he is a better than Parveen Rana. To sum up, the Indian wrestling has gone behind by