After slapping a four-year-ban on wrestler Narsingh Yadav, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has now dismissed the wrestler's theory of his food being spiked on the grounds that he failed to provide any evidence of the allegation.
The ad hoc panel of CAS suggested that Narsingh's dope offence was not due to a one-time intake of the banned substance and that he had orally ingested the tablet form of the substance on multiple occasions.
The first test result showed a high amount of concentration, suggesting that it came from an oral ingestion of one or two tablets of methandienone, rather than from a drink where the powder had been mixed with water.
Narsingh's urine sample, taken out-of competition on 25 June, was found to contain metabolites of methandienone and long term metabolite of methandienone. Another sample, taken out-of competition on 5 July, was also found to contain long term metabolites of methandienone.
The expert opinion was given by Professor Christiane Ayotte from Canada, a member of the IAAF Doping Commission. She is currently the Director of the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal.
"All in all found the sabotage (s) theory possible, but not probable and certainly not grounded in any real evidence. The panel therefore determined that the athlete had failed to satisfy his burden of proof and the panel was satisfied that the most likely explanation was that the athlete simply and intentionally ingested the prohibited substance in tablet form on more than one occasion," the CAS panel said.
"The panel had to weigh circumstantial evidence of the athlete against scientific evidence of WADA to determine whether it was satisfied with the athlete's position that he did not take the prohibited substance intentionally. The panel is conscious that expert evidence offered by Professor Ayotte may be susceptible to qualification by other expert (s). However, the panel has no reason to question the scientific data and/or her expert testimony," the panel said in a statement.
"The long term metabolite reading in the athlete's first sample was 4ng/ml, yet 10 days later the long term metabolite reading in the second sample was 20ng/ml. While the reading can increase, it would only do so in the first 2 or 3 days after ingestion." "As there was no trace of the parent compound in the first reading, the likely ingestion was a few days before 25 June 2016. The conclusion is that the long term metabolite in the second Test (July 5) was from a different (second) ingestion of the prohibited substance," said Ayotte.
"He cannot establish the source of the prohibited substance. He has merely claimed that his drink must have been spiked during a training session on 23 or 24 June 2016. There is no evidence relating to this, only evidence that his food was allegedly tampered with some 20 days before," the WADA said.
"Further, according to the expert evidence of Dr Christiane Ayotte, methandienone would not completely dissolve in a drink even if it had been ground down, so the athlete (Narsingh) would have seen traces in the drink; the concentrations of methandienone were not consistent with a few micrograms having been ingested as a dispersed powder in a drink taken even the day before, and by the time the second sample of 5 July 2016 was taken, the concentration of the long term metabolite was too high to be consistent with a one-time ingestion," it said.
On his part, Yadav has asked for a CBI probe into the matter. He has claimed innocence and has requested that the ban be lifted.
--With PTI inputs