Zeenews Sports Bureau
New Delhi: Boxer Vijender Singh’s troubles keep rising by the day with the Sports Ministry now directing National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to carry out tests on the Olympic bronze medallist.
NADA Director General Mukul Chaterjee had said earlier that heroin is a performance enhancing drug and the boxer will be punished if he is found guilty.
A press release issued by the Sports Ministry said, "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 communication has asked NADA to carry out the test immediately under intimation to the Ministry," the release added.
Meanwhile, an official from NADA said the agency would conduct test on Vijender as if out of competition and will not treat it as a special case.
"We will conduct a routine test for the star boxer (Vijender) as we have done for any other out of competition athlete. No, we will not be testing for heroin. We will strictly go by the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and the NADA code," NADA official Jagdish Singh told a news channel.
He said NADA was an independent body and would follow its own protocols while conducting the test.
"It is not a diktat from the ministry. We are quite independent and will strictly follow the protocol for the out of competition testing for an athlete irrespective of what the ministry said," Singh said.
He, however, said they would not conduct a hair sample test. "We can do a blood or a urine test."
Punjab Police, on Sunday, had said that Vijender consumed drugs about 12 times and that the pugilist along with Ram Singh were in contact with each other.
Vijender’s name had cropped up in a massive drug haul Where the police had recovered 26 kg of heroin, estimated around Rs Rs 130 crore, from NRI Kahlon`s house in Shivalik Vihar in Zirakpur on March 7. The car of Vijender`s wife Archana was found by police near the NRI`s house..
Anoop Singh Kahlon, the NRI arrested in the drug haul, had confessed to have sold heroin to Vijender Singh and his sparring partner Ram Singh.
With PTI inputs