Wrestler Narsingh Yadav was on Monday cleared by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), paving the way for him to compete in the Rio Olympics later this month. The panel is of the opinion that one time ingestion by Yadav was not within his knowledge.
Narsingh had returned positive for methandienone - a banned anabolic steroid, following which the wrestler cried foul, claiming that the entire episode was a conspiracy against him.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, NADA chief Navin Agarwal said: "Narsingh is a victim of sabotage."
"We kept in mind that in the past, till June 2, none of his samples were positive. It was inconceivable that one-time ingestion would be of benefit. Therefore the panel is of the view that the one-time ingestion was not intentional,” Mr. Agarwal said while reading out the verdict.
"The panel concludes that the athlete deserves the benefit of article 10.4 of the anti-coping rules of NADA 2015. There is no fault or negligence on the athlete's part and he is a victim of sabotage,"
The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president then said that Narsingh will fly to Rio to participate in the Games.
"I want to congratulate Rajeev Mehta and the Indian media," says Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, president of WFI. "I am sure Narsingh Yadav will go to Rio and win a medal for India."
The NADA had collected Narsingh’s samples at the national camp in Sonipat a few weeks ago.
Narsingh has been claiming that he has been framed in the scandal by rivals, who, he alleged, spiked his food supplements and meals.
Following the doping storm, Parveen Rana was named as Narsingh’s replacement in the 74kg category, a move that has been approved by United World Wrestling. However, Rana will now not be part of Rio contingent with Narsingh exonerated.
''I thank the public, media and everyone who supported me and stood by the truth,'' tweeted Narsingh Yadav. Supporters of Yadav celebrated outside the NADA office after the agency gave him a clean chit.
He also thanked Prime Minister "I am grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for getting me justice. I was always training during this phase and I hope to win a medal at Rio," he said.