Its go home for Narsingh
Given that we all have been brought up to believe that ‘there is no smoke without fire’, the sensational revelation that India’s medal prospect at Rio, Narsingh Yadav has tested positive ought to be taken at face value.
Given that we all have been brought up to believe that ‘there is no smoke without fire’, the sensational revelation that India’s medal prospect at Rio, Narsingh Yadav has tested positive ought to be taken at face value. The ‘not guilty’ and ‘I’m being framed’ utterances by the 74kg freestyle wrestler may not hold water considering that no less an authority than the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has found him guilty of using the banned anabolic steroid, methandienone during tests conducted a fortnight back.
Apparently, when two sample test results are both indicative of steroid abuse, it will need no extraordinary wisdom to draw conclusions. In plain and simple words, he has tested positive. Irrespective of whether the World Championship bronze medalists took it intentionally or otherwise, the fact of the matter is that a grave and unforgivable crime has been committed on the nation by an individual, who has a legion of fans both within and outside the fraternity. After all, ignorance of law is no exception.
Somehow, the 74kgs freestyle category has been jinxed from the start, as far as India is concerned. Narsingh secured the berth after a no-holds-barred mudslinging involving him, two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and administrators at Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Sunday’s bolt from the blue is a bigger setback considering that Narsingh won the Rio trip after a long-drawn legal battle with Sushil Kumar, who demanded the lone ticket India was entitled. Of course, this is not the first time that Indians have been caught for alleged fraud. Even women lifters have been banned for using performance-enhancing drugs.
If Narsingh is pleading innocence and suspects a conspiracy to defame him and deny him a shot at Olympic glory, then he is just buying time. He now expects justice at the behest of the Indian Olympic Association. His supporters may endorse the ‘sabotage’ theory that he is floating, which is, in fact, a veiled accusation against Sushil’s supporters. It is a tad too harsh on the man who missed the cut by a whisker because even if Narsingh is barred from participation, Sushil Kumar in no way can get the opportunity to go for a third successive Olympics.
The point is he gains nothing if Narsingh is kept out by the world governing body and also the IOC. The rules mandate that an eleventh-hour replacement is possible only if the original choice gets injured. Apparently, one cannot have such a provision when an athlete is an alleged dope-cheat. With Narsingh being slapped with a provisional suspension, it implies that there will be no Indian representation in that category at Rio.
One should appreciate the Union Sports Ministry that has reiterated that it would abide by the World Anti-Doping code. One should not see that the sordid episode will mean a loss of a possible medal at Rio. What is required is standing by the Olympic spirit of fair play. Although, premature a thought, what if Narsingh had tested positive during the course of the world’s greatest sporting spectacle. That would be more shamefully devastating.