SAI has to take the blame in Narsingh controversy

SAI has to take the blame in Narsingh controversy

By SAJI CHACKO | NEW DELHI | 30 July, 2016
Narsingh Yadav arrives at the NADA office in New Delhi on Thursday. IANS
Laxity on part of the Sports Authority of India has proved to be a deterrent to the chances of the ace wrestler proving his innocence.

The handling of the entire Narsingh Yadav dope case by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has come into severe criticism. The country’s sports body instead of safeguarding and protecting the athlete’s interests, has done nothing to help him him out of the mess.

The most shocking aspect is in the first place how could an intruder get into the SAI’s Centre at Sonepat and have access to the kitchen and room of the Olympic bound wrestler. “I simply fail to understand as to how could an intruder –be it  a trainee or anyone else manage to have such free and unhindered access to the place where India’s top wrestler was practicing. I would say that the entire blame lies on SAI’s doorstep,” said a former athlete who has been closely associated with the SAI.

Secondly, the SAI should have volunatarily come forward to provide the CCTV footage of the duration during which Narsingh was practicing. “I think the least they (the SAI) could have done was to provide the CCTV footage of the kitchen where the dope spiking was alleged to have been done. I simply fail to understand as to how the SAI could not even manage to furnish the CCTV footage. It is shocking,” said the former athlete.

Thirdly, the SAI should have taken some responsibility that the incident happened to be in their territory. “I think the least the SAI could have done was to owe moral responsibility for the incident which happened inside their premises. Instead they are now trying to give everyone in their fold a clean chit. This is too much,” said the former athlete.

Meanwhile, Narsingh  ordeal got longer as the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) on Thursday postponed the verdict over his dope case .

While Narsingh and his lawyers put forward his arguments on Wednesday, the legal representative of the national anti-doping body said on Thursday that the star wrestler has not been able to convincingly prove his claims that his food had been spiked.

"The argument by NADA was that Narsingh is not eligible for remission which he has been asking," NADA lawyer Gaurang Kanth said.  "How the substance entered Narsingh's body could not be well established by them. We have stated that the plea taken by him that he is under no fault and he had been negligent (at the SAI centre) is not correct and that will not hold any ground," he added.

Further, he said the quantum of punishment for this offence could vary. "The quantum of punishment can be four years, or it can be reduced to two years. It all depends on when the judgement will be coming out."

In the midst of all this, Narsingh  is still hopeful of representing the country at the Rio Olympics. "I am continuing my practice. I am hopeful of going to Rio. Hopefully everything will be clear by Monday," he told reporters.

It must be mentioned here that Narsingh's chances of competing in the Rio Games came under a cloud tested positive result in a dope test conducted by the NADA on June 25. The 26-year-old's 'B' sample also tested positive for a banned substance.

Following this, the Mumbai-based Narsingh r, who was selected to represent the country in the men's 74kg freestyle category ahead of two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, was handed a provisional suspension.

He ran into further trouble on Wednesday after it was announced that a second test conducted on July 5 has also returned a positive result.

Narsingh's roommate at Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Sonepat, Sandeep Tulsi Yadav, also failed a NADA dope test on Monday and according to sources, both the grapplers have tested positive for the same banned substance -- methandienone.

Narsingh had claimed of a conspiracy to frame him and had filed a police report in this regard, although he refrained from naming anyone. Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhishan Sharan Singh had alleged on Tuesday that two junior wrestlers from the Chhatarsaal Stadium had mixed banned substances in his food.

Meanwhile, under pressure from the United World Wrestling, the WFI had on Monday named Parveen Rana for the replacement slot in order to preserve India's Olympic quota in the 74kg freestyle category. Rana has already flown to Georgia where he will train with the Indian wrestling team for the remaining part of their training stint before the Rio Games.


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