NADA refuses to test Vijender for heroin

NEW DELHI: The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has refused to test India's best known boxing star Vijender Singh for heroin after Punjab police on Sunday said that the pugilist consumed heroin 12 times from December 2012 to February 2013 while his colleague Ram Singh took it five times.

Vijender has denied the allegation but Punjab Police said the 27-year-old boxer had taken heroin on 12 occasions, prompting the sports ministry to ask the National Anti-Doping Agency to carry out a test on him.

The NADA is willing to conduct a random dope test on the boxer but has conveyed that it cannot test the boxer for herion as per World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

NADA chief, Mukul Chatterjee on Tuesday said that testing of Olympic bronze medallist, Vijender Singh for heroin intake would be a breach of protocol as stated by the World anti-doping body.

The NADA chief also said that Vijender has missed three drug tests in the last one month and the last test conducted on him was in July last year. Meanwhile former coach of the Indian boxing team, Om Prakash Bhardwaj said that Vijender should come out in public to make a statement and clarify his stand.

Vijender, whose middleweight bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics helped raise boxing's profile in India, landed in trouble after last month's Rs 484 crore drug haul in Punjab when a fellow boxer told the investigators he and Singh consumed heroin supplied by the drug dealer.

In a communication sent to the director general of NADA, the ministry said reports have appeared in the media regarding alleged consumption of heroin by the pugilist.

"Such reports in respect of a sporting icon are disturbing and may have a debilitating influence on other sportspersons in the country. It has, therefore, been considered necessary that NADA gets a test carried out on Shri Vijender Singh for his reported use of heroin even out-of-competition. The communication has asked NADA to carry out the test immediately under intimation to the Ministry," said a statement from the ministry.

The Fatehgarh Sahib police had earlier this month (March 7), recovered over 28 kg heroin, worth Rs.130 crore in the international market, from Kahlon's possession and had arrested him. The drug haul was made from Kahlon's flat in Zirakpur, near Chandigarh, and his car.

Police also found a SUV, registered in the name of Vijender Singh's wife Archana, parked outside Kahlon's flat. Kahlon reportedly told the police that Vijender and fellow boxer Ram Singh were his "clients".
The Punjab Police have already questioned Vijender, who is a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) in the Haryana Police, in connection with the drugs racket. The boxer has, so far, refused to give his blood and hair samples to police.