NEW DELHI: If Narsingh Pancham Yadav is aiming for a comeback and wants to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will not stop the tainted grappler, whose four-year ban ends in July this year.
If the Olympic Games were to be held as scheduled earlier in July-August, Yadav would not have got the chance to compete in them. But now a full year at his disposal after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the Games, he can stake claim in the 74kg category in which India is yet to secure a quota.
Yadav was handed a four-year ban for failing a dope test by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in August 2016 after an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) just hours before his bout was to start in the Rio Olympic Games.
“We will not stop him if he comes to us and says that he wants to compete. We have discussed it. After his ban period is over, he will be eligible for a comeback,” WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar told PTI.
The National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) had accepted his sabotage theory that his drinks were spiked after he tested positive for a banned substance ahead of the Rio Games.
Yadav, now 31, had qualified for the Rio Games after winning a bronze medal at the World Championships in Las Vegas in 2015.
However, the celebrated Sushil Kumar, who missed the Olympic qualification event citing an injury, later demanded a trial against Yadav and even dragged him to the court but his appeal was rejected.
Dramatically, Yadav failed dope tests conducted in June and July and was handed a four-year ban, a day before his opening bout at the Rio Games.