Four years after his dope ban, wrestler Narsingh Yadav still claims his innocence

Image Courtesy: TOI/AFP
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Back in early August, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Narsingh Yadav came out of his four year long dope ban. With a fresh restart of his career, the wrestler is looking forward for an Olympic glory, but cannot let go of his past just yet, as he still claims his dope test was sabotaged and he is innocent.

Narsingh Yadav
Image Courtesy: TOI/AFP

The postponement of the Olympics Games this year was a boon for Yadav, which has earned him a chance to make to to the grand stage in Tokyo next year, a dream that he missed out on in 2016 after the ban.

Currently training at the Sports Authority of Indian national wrestling camp in Sonepat, the freestyle 74 kg grappler wants the curtain call with a Olympic medal in his hand.

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However, the dope test from 2016 which slapped a four year long ban on him, Yadav still believes his test was vandalised and he is innocent, even though the Central Bureau of Investigation had already dismissed his claim last year.

I will wait for justice: Narsingh Yadav claims innocence on his dope ban

Four yeas back, traces of steroid methandienone were found in Narsingh Yadav’s urine sample. Even though National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) gave him a clean chit, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) slapped him with a four year ban on an appeal from World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

However, the wrestler is still confident that he would be free from the blame, and has claimed that CBI is still investigating.

“I have full faith that I would be proved innocent,” Yadav spoke to IANS, “I got to know that the CBI had filed a closure report of my case, but when I spoke to the officials they said that the case was still on. The CBI is still inquiring.”

“I don’t know what took so long for such a big investigative agency to sort out my small case. I will wait for justice,” the 38 year old added.

The wrestler, who hails from Varanasi, laments that the ban had destroyed his reputation, but is still hopeful in the reversal of the case’s verdict in the future.

Yadav continued, “I have come back to the place where it all started. My life changed from that day. I faced a lot of criticism in these four years, but thanks are due to my family and friends who stood by me.”

The ban had barred Yadav from competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016, but now the chance to make it to Tokyo has made him more careful, because he doesn’t want to lose that opportunity again.

“For any athlete a four-year ban is a long time and that too if you are innocent,” he acknowledged,“I am more careful now. I eat food provided by SAI in my room. I don’t want to take any chances now.”

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