Narsingh intentionally took substance in tablet form: CAS rules


New Delhi: While handing down a four-year ban on Narsingh Yadav, the Court of Arbitration for Sports has ruled that the wrestler failed to produce any "real evidence" regarding the sabotage theory he had advanced and the balance of probabilities" was that he orally took the banned substance intentionally in tablet form on more than one occasion.

Unable to produce any 'real evidence,' CAS has banned the wrestler from participating in the Olympics for the upcoming years. Justifying the actions, CAS described the expert evidence that proved dope's concentration in the first test result of June 25 was quite high and can't come from a drink of powder mixed with water, thus ruling out the possibilities of sabotage. Instead, such high amount can come from an oral ingestion of one or two tablets of methandienone, CAS said.

Professor Christiane Ayotte of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from Canada was selected by CAS to give an expert opinion. Currently, she is a member of IAAF Doping Commission and the Director of the WADA endorsed laboratory in Montreal. She was elected to the post in 1995. Narsingh had earlier submitted a report alleging that a junior wrestler and a member of Sushil Kumar's group mixed his energy drinks with prohibited substance on either June 23 or June 24.

National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) announced the judgement in favour of Narsingh but the CAS imposed a four-year-ban on the wrestler a few hours before his 74-kg freestyle wrestling opening bout was scheduled. The CAS panel also agreed to the scientific judgement carried out by Professor Ayotte saying the sabotage theory is possible, but not probable and grounded in any real evidence. 

Also, the panel ruled out the claim that Narsingh's roommate Sandeep Yadav too ingested the substance at the same time. "He (Sandeep) had the parent compound of methandienone in his test results, so he must have taken the substance after the athlete (Narsingh), as opposed to both having their drinks spike at the same training session," the panel said.

CAS expert panel noted the statements of three persons, namely, Paswan, Rahul Kumar and Pankaj Kumar, who had confirmed that they had seen Jithesh trying to contaminate Narsingh's food earlier on June 5 by pouring some powder into the curry. Narsingh's counselor Vidhuspat Singhania, who appeared before the panel via video conference, had also argued that the drinks might have been spiked twice. 

But the panel did not consider this argument. Keeping in mind the criminal case filed against Jitesh, the alleged culprit of sabotage, the CAS said that in case the crime is proved, the judgement will be reviewed by the Supreme Court in Switzerland where the CAS is based.

NADA, one of the respondents in the case argued that the case was not in connection with the Olympics games and also that it had 21 days to appeal against the panel's judgement and so should be allowed to do this before WADA could appeal. However, CAS rejected all the arguments and went with the expert opinion.