The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 may be a bummer for most athletes but for wrestler Narsingh Yadav, it’s a blessing a disguise. Yadav was handed a four-year ban by the Court of Arbitration in Sports and the wrestler ready for a comeback. Also Read - Badminton: Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth's Chances to Qualify For Tokyo Olympics Virtually Over With Singapore Open Cancellation
Had the Olympics taken place per its scheduled date this year, there wasn’t a chance for Yadav to make the cut, but with the event pushed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he has the chance of a lifetime to make the cut in the 74-category freestyle, a quota for which is yet to secure by India. Also Read - Singapore Open Cancelled Due to Surge in COVID-19 Cases
“This is definitely not the way I would have liked to start dreaming about the Olympics again. Covid-19 has caused enormous pain to everyone around the world and our immediate aim is to fight the virus. But now that the opportunity has arisen, I would like to make the most of it,” Yadav told Times of India Thursday. Also Read - India's Olympic-Bound Shooting Team Leaves For Training-Cum-Competition Tour of Croatia
Yadav had a shot at glory four years ago at the Rio Olympics 2016, but just a day before the event, he was tested positive for Metandienone and subsequently banned. Yadav was adjudged to have failed two dope tests and even though he claimed it was an attempt to ruin his Rio qualification, the National Anti-Doping Agency remained unconvinced.
Furthermore, his fallout with senior pro Sushil Kumar, who was also jostling for a berth in the same category as Yadav grabbed avoidable attention. The matter reached just high grounds that it needed intervention from the court of law.
“I thought that once the CBI started handling the case, I would be able to prove my innocence quickly, but that did not happen. I have moved on today. I will be ready to compete at the first given opportunity,” he said.
But everything said and done, the coast is now clear for Yadav to realise his dream as he continues to train hard, hoping to make a triumphant return. Even the Wrestling Federation of India has said they have no problems with Yadav competing to secure an Olympic berth.
“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 on Thursday.