Wrestler Narsingh Yadav, who has failed a doping test before the Rio Olympics, denied taking the banned drug and alleged it was a "conspiracy" against him.
"Why would I dope so close to the Olympics?" Yadav told The Indian Express in an interview. "It's a conspiracy against me."
Yadav claimed that he had never heard of the banned steroid 'metadienone', traces of which were found in his body by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA). He claimed that the drug was not useful for a sportsman, as it helped in muscle development, which cannot help wrestlers. He alleged that someone had added the drug to his food, possibly at the Sports Authority of India's Sonepat Centre, where he eats his meals at the hostel mess or in his room. His roommate, fellow champion wrestler Sandeep Yadav, has also been found positive for the same drug.
"Why would I dope so close to the Olympics?"
Earlier in June this year, the Haryana Police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had reported a threat to Yadav's life, following which round-the-clock security was provided to him.
"Back then, I thought it would be a physical threat," he told Express. "But I never thought some people would stoop to this level. Ghatiya harkat hai yeh. (This is a cheap stunt). They are playing with my career."
It is as yet unclear if Yadav will be disqualified from playing in the Rio Olympics, which begins on 5 August. National Anti-Doping Director General Navin Agarwal earlier told PTI that it was "too early" to comment if Yadav will be able to take part in the games or not.
Meanwhile, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI)'s BB Sharan Singh spoke out in Yadav's support. "Narsingh Yadav has given this in writing that it's a conspiracy against him," he said in press conference on Monday afternoon. "I also feel the same."