Chandigarh: India's Olympic champion Vijender Singh, who consumed heroin as many as 12 times according to the police, on Wednesday underwent National Anti-Doping Agency's (NADA) drug test but was not put through the hair follicle test, which is the main indicator of heroin. NADA, who had earlier refused to test Vijender for heroin, only tested the boxer's blood and urine sample.
NADA said it can only test for performance enhancing drugs and since heroin is not considered as one, it cannot take his sample out of competition, sources said. NADA, which is an autonomous body and does not fall under the Government of India, does not necessarily have to follow the orders.
Moreover, the test for heroin can only be done at a forensic lab, which NADA does not have. NADA can only test for blood and urine. Vijender's drug test comes a day after the Sports Ministry threatened to take action if he did not submit himself for a test at NADA.
NADA had refused to test Vijender for heroin saying it is bound by international protocol and can only test the boxer's blood and urine samples and not hair follicles as required while testing for heroin.
The Sports Ministry had ordered NADA to conduct a test on Vijender after the Punjab Police alleged he had consumed heroin 12 times between December 2012 and February 2013. The drug is a banned substance only in competition and out of competition it is not a crime for a sportsperson to consume it.
Issuing a statement, the Sports Ministry had on Monday said, "Reports have appeared in the media regarding alleged consumption of heroin by Vijender Singh. 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 Vijender Singh for his reported use of heroin even out-of-competition."
The Ministry's strong statement came hours after the Punjab Police was "advised" by the District Attorney of Fatehgarh Saheb against collecting the Olympian medallist's blood and hair samples for testing. Vijender and fellow boxer Ram Singh are under scrutiny for alleged involvement in the Mohali drug haul case.