I was close to a medal in Rio, says suspended freestyle wrestler Narsingh Yadav

I was close to a medal in Rio, says suspended freestyle wrestler Narsingh Yadav

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Narsingh Yadav, who was handed a four-year ban just a day before the Rio Olympics for alleged dope offence, has claimed that he was close to winning a medal in the Games as he had previously beaten the victors. The freestyle wrestler is hoping that the ongoing CBI probe comes in his favour.

Yadav had broken into limelight after his spectacular win in the bronze medal bout at the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas and his dominating win over France’s Zelimkhan Khadjiev had helped him qualify for Rio Olympics.

And the 28-year-old freestyle wrestler was even chosen over two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar in the country's quota entry for Rio in the 74-kg class. However, he was pulled out of the Games just a day before the main event by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who accused him of using anabolic steroids.  

Though Yadav had claimed that his rivals had spiked his food by the banned substance, it couldn’t prevent him from getting the four-year ban. The man from Varanasi now awaits the result of the ongoing CBI probe hoping it will come in his favour.

“The inquiry in the case is going on and the decision will come, whenever it has to, and I will wait for the outcome. I hope justice prevails for me," said Yadav to the reporters on the sidelines of the announcement of the Kashaba Jadhav Memorial International Kusti Championship.

He seemed confident that he could have gone a long way in the Olympics and rued his misfortune by saying, “I was close to a medal in Rio and I had beaten the medal winners earlier. I hope justice prevails for me. The CBI inquiry date is not yet out and I am not in touch with the Wrestling Federation (of India)."

Interestingly, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) had cleared him for the Games despite him being tested positive at the SAI facilities in Sonepat. However, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) intervened and filed a complaint against it in the COA, which led to the ban.

However, the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist hasn’t stopped training and has his sights set on the Tokyo Olympics. “My practice is going on continuously and I want to do well at the Tokyo Olympics… We will get three-four medals in wrestling,” said Yadav.

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