Narsingh Yadav faces no further drug tests ahead of Rio Olympics 2016 bouts, says coach Jagminder
Rio de Janeiro: Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav has no further hurdle in his path for his 74kg freestyle bout on 19 August as his coach today said he would not have to appear for any reinstatement test.
"There would be no further reinstatement test ahead of his bout. If at all, then Narsingh's samples may be taken after August 19," national freestyle wrestling coach Jagminder Singh, who's accompanying the team in Rio, told PTI.
Afer being given a clean chit by the National Anti-Doping Agency that concluded that Narsingh was a victim of conspiracy, the 74kg wrestler, whose two samples were found positive, finally boarded the flight to Rio de Janeiro, five days after Rio Games began on 5 August.
"He has arrived here August 10 night and we have had two practice sessions so far. He is all set for his bouts now," he said.
Asked whether the controversy has affected him personally, Jagminder said: "He's after all a human and the phase he went through was the toughest in any athlete's life.
"But at the same time, he's more motivated now to win a medal. We are trying not to think about the past and look ahead. It's about keeping him relaxed and have a free mind."
The Mumbai-based wrestler had clinched the berth by winning a bronze medal at the World Championship in Las Vegas last year but little did he know that his road to Rio was fraught with challenges.
First, it was the most successful Indian wrestler, Sushil Kumar, an Olympic silver and bronze medalist in the 74kg category, who had moved Delhi High Court to seek a trial among them to decide who represents the country in Rio 2016.
The High Court had dismissed Sushil Kumar's plea, giving Narsingh the green signal to participate in the Rio Games but that was not the end of the struggle as the 2010 Commonwealth Games champion had failed two dope tests in July.
The dope test failures had put Narsingh's Olympic dream in jeopardy, but NADA gave a verdict three days ahead of the Games Opening Ceremony, exonerating him of all charges, convinced by the 'sabotage' theory advanced by the wrestler's legal team.
Finally, the decision was taken by the Wrestling Federation of India after consultation with the wrestler and the NADA to clear all the hurdles in the Road to Rio.
The 27-year-old Indian had suffered a ligament tear in the run-up to the Olympics but still managed to claim the freestyle bronze medal in 65kg category at the Tokyo Games.
Only five Indian women wrestlers have won medals at the Worlds and all of them — Alka Tomar (2006), Geeta Phogat (2012), Babita Phogat (2012), Pooja Dhanda (2018) and Vinesh Phogat (2019) — have clinched bronze.
With her silver medal at Oslo, Anshu Malik became only the sixth Indian woman to win a World Championships medal. The other five women all won bronze.