Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Monday hinted that Narsingh Yadav’s prospects of participating at the Rio Olympics is virtually over but said the wrestler will be given a fair chance to defend himself.
Goel also made it clear that Narsingh’s dope case will be dealt as per international rules with the strict implementation of the WADA Code.
In his introductory remark before a press conference, Goel said India will be represented by 119 sportspersons (from earlier 120) in Rio Olympics.
“NADA is an autonomous body established under the WADA Code to promote clean sports and check doping. In Narsingh’s case, we will ensure that WADA Code is implemented. We are committed to the WADA Code,” he said while announcing the ‘Run for Olympics’ programme to be held on July 31.
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The run from the National Stadium to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Both of Narsingh’s A and B dope samples have returned positive. He has been placed under provisional suspension and so we now have 119 athletes. That’s why I said India will be represented by 119 athletes,” the minister said when asked if Narsingh still has a chance to take the Rio bus.
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“The NADA has disciplinary panels to deal with doping cases. He (Narsingh) will get a fair chance to defend himself and present his case before these panels. There will be justice under the rules and beyond that there is nothing much we can do in this case,” said the minister who took charge this month.
Asked about his comments on Narsingh’s allegation of conspiracy by others to frame him, Goel said, “He has not said it to us. We don’t know.”
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On whether the government will agree to a probe on the issue as demanded by Narsingh, Goel evaded the question.
“Law will take its own course and we cannot do anything. Let the NADA panels deal with the case and then we will see,” he said.
India’s Olympic buildup was dealt a huge blow on Sunday as Narsingh, who was selected ahead of the celebrated Sushil Kumar, failed a dope test.
National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) Director General Navin Agarwal said Narsingh had tested positive for a banned substance and he appeared before a NADA disciplinary panel on Saturday.