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Narsingh replaced by Rana, scandal reaches police

Parveen Rana

New Delhi : The alleged conspiracy in the Narsingh Yadav dope scandal began to unravel today with the wrestler identifying two fellow grapplers as the saboteurs, who contaminated his food with a banned steroid, in a formal police complaint.

Narsingh filed an FIR at the Sonepat Police Station naming two fellow wrestlers, one of them a 17-year-old, and persisted with his demand for a CBI probe into the scandal that has sent shockwaves into the Indian sporting fraternity.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) also continued to back Narsingh but announced that Parveen Rana would replace him in the squad for Rio de Janeiro, a move that was approved by the sport’s world governing body United World Wrestling.

“I have always maintained that there has been a conspiracy against me. If I am cleared of the charges, I will go to Rio. I have identified the boy who was seen contaminating my food. I have given a detailed complaint to the police,” Narsingh told reporters after filing his complaint.

“I feel even officials are involved because I am not being provided the CCTV footage,” he added.

Narsingh himself desisted from taking names but WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh revealed them while talking to the media.

“We suspect Jitesh, who fights in the 75kg category, and Sumit, both of them live in Chhatarsaal. And one of them has admitted to spiking Narsingh’s food. I can’t say on the conspiracy and can’t say whether they did this on their own or on someone’s asking. We cannot investigate this but we support Narsingh’s demand for a CBI inquiry,” Brij Bhushan Sharan said here.

Sports Minister Vijay Goel, on the other hand, stuck to his stand that the government will abide by international rules when it comes to deciding on Narsingh’s trip to Rio in the aftermath of the controversy.

“If nothing is found in the food supplements then it would be considered a positive dope test. He was told not to train in Sonepat and all Olympic-bound athletes were given the option of customised training,” Goel said.

“This controversy should end. National Anti-Doping Agency is affiliated to World Anti-Doping Agency. We can’t decide alone, we are trying to ensure that none of our athletes test positive for dope in Rio. NADA has been been educating athletes about doping, even after this if something has happened than law will take it’s own course. The conspiracy angle will be investigated,” he added.

Earlier, the WFI sent Rana’s name to replace Narsingh, putting an end to the speculation surrounding double-Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar’s chances.

Narsingh had been picked ahead of Sushil after he won the quota place with a bronze medal in the World Championships.

Freestyle wrestler Rana had earlier won a gold medal in the 74kg category at the Dave Schultz Memorial wrestling tournament in USA in 2014.

After failing the dope test, Narsingh was put under provisional suspension.

“United World Wrestling informed the Indian Olympic Association last week that since the positive test occurred outside of the qualification event they would be allowed replace Yadav with another wrestler, or else vacate the qualification spot,” the United World Wrestling said in a statement.

“The Indian Olympic Association informed United World Wrestling of their desire to enter Parveen RANA as their nation’s replacement at 74kg in men’s freestyle,” it added.

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