No dope testing at wrestling nationals
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Saran Singh lamented the absence of dope testing at the national championships. The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) did not conduct tests at the event but its Director General Navin Aggarwal said wrestlers would be tested at an ‘appropriate time’ to retain the element of surprise while some of those representing India at international events have already been tested.
Sunday was the final day of the nationals and the Greco-Roman events were conducted. The men’s freestyle events were held on Friday, while the women’s freestyle, which saw the participation of Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik and world championships bronze medallist Vinesh Phogat, was held on Saturday.
“Our task is to inform NADA about the event. They should have come since this is the nationals and is being held before the Olympics. Most of the top wrestlers are here. Normally they come to the nationals to conduct random checks and that should have been the case this time also,” Singh said.
Earlier this year, wrestler Reena tested positive at the Under-23 Asian Championships and was banned for four years. Before the Rio Olympics, star wrestler Narsingh Yadav also failed a dope test and was banned.
“I came to know about the NADA team not visiting the wrestling nationals today. We have a plan to test the wrestlers at an appropriate time and some of the international Indian wrestlers have been already tested or we will plan testing for them at an appropriate time. We sometimes go to nationals and sometimes we don’t’ go. Whenever and wherever a NADA team goes, we have to keep the element of surprise so that players don’t become aware,” Aggarwal said.
WFI secretary Vinod Tomar said the schedule for all competitions had been shared with NADA. “The NADA team did not come to the national junior wrestling championships at Surat earlier this year too. It is up to them to come to test or not,” Tomar said.