Wrestler Narsingh Yadav comes out of his 4 year drug ban, aims for Olympic glory

Image Courtesy: PTI

Narsingh Yadav, the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist wrestler has completed his four year dope ban. Now at 31 years of age, the freestyle 74 kg wrestler wants to have a fresh start in his career, and is making the Tokyo Olympic Games next year as his bullseye.

Image Courtesy: PTI

Before the commencement of the Rio Olympics in August 2016, Narsingh Yadav had failed two back to back doping tests, and traces of steroid methandienone was found in his urine sample of. Steroid methandienone is an anabolic agent, which is classified as a ‘Prohibited at all times’ substance under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods.

India’s NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) gave Yadav a clean chit, citing that his drinks were sabotaged by a rival. However on WADA’s appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) dismissed NADA’s claim, and slapped a four year long suspension on Yadav, who was 26 years old, and the peak of his career at that time.

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If the Tokyo Olympics had not been postponed due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, there would have been no chance for Yadav to complete in Japan, as his suspension would still be in effect. Now with a year long postponement, the grappler has a chance to aim for an Olympic glory.

A fresh start: Narsingh Yadav to reboot his career after four year dope ban

Narsingh Yadav’s suspension is now terminated, as confirmation came from WADA on 1st August, making him eligible for all competitions. The wrestler, who hails from Varanasi, is aiming the World Championships, to be hosted in Belgrade Serbia in December, as the gateway of his return to the world of wrestling.

“I am now free to compete in all competitions,” Yadav spoke exclusively to Times of India, “I have informed WFI (Wrestling Federation of India) about the mail from WADA. I have written to the federation to consider me for future national camps in the 74kg category.”

However, the 2021 Olympics Games is the ultimate target for the 31 year old grappler, “I still have it in me. My story will only be complete with an Olympic medal.”

He continued, “I believe it is my destiny that this opportunity has come knocking on my door. I am happy, but it is time to train harder to be come back in the Indian team.”

“Competition doesn’t deter me. If my aim is to win an Olympic medal, I’ll have to stave off competition at the national level first,” Yadav concluded.

Input also came from WFI, who had always kept the door open for Yadav’s comeback. “The Olympics have been postponed, so there will be some time for qualification tournaments to start. If Narsingh wants to return, we will give him the chance,” said Vinod Tomar, the assistant secretary of WFI.

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, Yadav defeated Richard Addinall of South Africa to clinch the gold. He won another gold same year at the Asian Wrestling Championships.

In 2011, Yadav won a silver at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in Melbourne, followed by three bronze medals at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships in Doha, and the 2015 World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas.

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