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Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav on failed drug test: 'It's a conspiracy against me'

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Narsingh Yadav, who had been set to represent India in 74kg (163 lbs) freestyle wrestling at the Rio Olympics, has failed a drug test, putting his participation in serious jeopardy.

He tested positive for metadienone, an anabolic steroid. But Narsingh is adamant that he's not at fault and claims that he has been framed. In an interview with The Indian Express, Narsingh said the following:

"It’s a conspiracy against me. They have planned everything. I have been wrestling for the last 15 years. I have been to so many international competitions and have been tested several times. I have undergone almost 25-30 dope tests and cleared each and every one. Whenever NADA [India's anti-doping agency] guys have come, I have given my sample to them without any fuss. It is my duty to do that.

"Someone is trying to frame me on purpose. They are trying to stop me from going to the Olympics. There should be a proper investigation and those involved behind this should be given a strict punishment and I should be sent to Rio."

While Narsingh declined to implicate any specific people, he also told The Indian Express that he received around-the-clock security in June after a death threat was made against him. Narsingh also claimed that the drug in his system would be "of no use in wrestling."

The Wrestling Federation of India is backing Narsingh on his claims of a conspiracy. Organization president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh told India's Mail Today that he "believes Narsingh is an innocent guy" and has asked the government to conduct an inquiry into the situation.

The original selection of Narsingh was not without controversy. Narsingh earned a quota spot for India by winning a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships and was slated to be India's representative in the 74kg division. But then two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar staked his claim to the spot and said that he should be given the chance to compete against Narsingh in an Olympic selection trial. Sushil took the matter to the Delhi High Court, but his plea was ultimately dismissed, and Narsingh was awarded the quota spot.

An official from the Sports Authority of India told the Press Trust of India that there was "no chance" of Sushil replacing Narsingh at the Olympics, as the deadline for submitting entries had passed.

For his part, Sushil tweeted that the situation was "unfortunate" and said that he would always support his fellow wrestlers.

Top wrestlers set to compete in the 74kg freestyle weight class in Rio include reigning Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs of the United States, Russia's Aniuar Geduev, Iran's Hassan Yazdani and Mongolia's Purevjav Unurbat.

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