Had expected 3-4 medals from Indian wrestlers in Rio: WFI chief

New Delhi, Aug 23 : Describing the Rio Olympics experience as "sweet and sour", Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said they had expected at least 3-4 medals from the grapplers but added the sudden ban on Narsingh Yadav and unexpected injury to Vinesh Phogat dealt a severe blow to their medal aspirations.

"We had expected 3-4 medals in wrestling, but sudden ban on NarsinghYadav and injury to Vinesh Phogat was a big blow to us," Brij Bhushan said while addressing a press conference here.

"I also regret that we couldn't replicate the performance displayed during the previous Olympics," the WFI chief said, referring to the haul of six medals at the London Olympics where two medals came from the wrestling unit.

The Indian contingent endured a severe blow to their Rio campaign when Narsingh was slapped with a four-year ban after the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) overturned the clean chit given to the grappler by the National Anti-Doping Agency.

As a result of Narsingh's suspension, India went unrepresented in the 74kg category. On the other hand, Vinesh, who was considered as one of the bright medal prospects, crashed out of the prestigious event after suffering a ligament injury midway through the second round.

Sakshi Malik was the only saving grace as the 23-year-old bagged the bronze medal in the 58kg category via repechage.

Commenting on Narsingh's ban, Brij Bhushan reiterated his demand for a CBI inquiry into the contentious matter and insisted that the 27-year-old grappler would have brought laurel for the country had he been not suspended on the eve of his scheduled bout.

"A CBI inquiry into the matter is very essential. We will meet PM as well as Home Minister with regard to this issue," said Brij Bhushan. "Lower level NADA officials are also involved in the case and that is why I reiterate the demand for a CBI inquiry.

This is a conspiracy." Earlier this month, the NADA had paved the way for Narsingh to compete in the prestigious quadrennial event after its disciplinary panel ruled that he was a victim of sabotage (food/drink tampering) perpetrated by another competitor.

While handing out a four-year suspension, the CAS ad-hoc division, however, stated that it "did not accept the argument of the athlete that he was the victim of sabotage and noted that there was no evidence that he bore no fault nor that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional." Explaining the rationale behind its decision, the CAS in a detailed report later stated that Narsingh had failed to produce any "real evidence" regarding the "sabotage theory" he had advanced and the balance of probabilities was that he took the "banned substance intentionally in tablet form".

Source: ANI