New Delhi: The Sports Ministry on Tuesday rejecting National Anti-Doping Agency's arguments against heroin test on boxer Vijender Singh, said that NADA will have to conduct the test, according to sources.
According to Ministry sources, Vijender has to come clean as he's a national sporting icon. Sports Ministry sources also said that no one will be allowed to hoodwink the system and NADA can test Vijender out of competition. Ministry sources further said that strict action will be taken if he avoids the test.
Early in the day, NADA refused to go with the Sports Ministry's request that Olympian boxer Vijender Singh be tested for heroin. NADA said that it is bound by international protocol and it can only test Vijender'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 police, however, maintain that there is no proof of the duo's involvement in drug trafficking or possession of drugs, even though, it adds, they consumed heroin 12 times between December 2012 and February 2013.
The police had said that Vijender and Ram Singh procured the drug from alleged peddlers Anoop Singh Kahlon and Rocky for personal consumption. Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Hardyal Singh Mann said, "We have documentary evidence that he knew they were drugs but we're not sure about his involvement. We have asked for their consent to take samples which has to be done by the law. But he rejected."
The case dates back to March 3 when police seized drugs from a flat in Mohali. The police had seized about 28 kgs of heroin, 61 kg of Pseudophedrine and over Rs 1 crore drug money. About 50 kg of ice was destroyed by the family members of the dealers and the total cost of the seizures is around Rs 130 crore and would fetch Rs 484 crore in the international market.