Mohali drug haul: Boxer Ram Singh to be expelled from National Institute of Sports
Patiala: Embroiled in a drug scandal that has shaken the core of Indian boxing, super heavyweight pugilist Ram Singh will be expelled from the National Institute of Sports on Monday after admitting to consuming the contraband.
Ram, a former National Championships medallist, has admitted to experimenting with drugs along with Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender Singh, who has denied the allegations.
Their names cropped up after the unearthing of heroin worth Rs 130 crore from Fatehgarh Sahib at an NRIs flat. An SUV registered in the name of Vijender's wife was found outside the flat during the police raid.
"Ram will be temporarily expelled from the NIS as he has confessed to taking drugs. We have already received the orders from the top administration, he will be formally suspended tomorrow," national boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said.
"But we should wait for the investigation to get over before jumping to conclusions," he said.
Sandhu continued to stand by Vijender, who has not spoken after the fresh claims made by Ram.
"I know him for the past 10 years and he has undergone numerous dope tests. He has always been clean. He is one of the most disciplined boys I have worked with," said Sandhu.
"We should wait for the investigation to be completed. It is unfair to malign him like this," he added.
Vijender, a former world number one, gave India its first Olympic medal in boxing when he clinched a bronze in the 2008 Games. Besides, he is an Asian Games gold-medallist and a multiple-time Commonwealth Games medallist.
Considered the poster boy of Indian boxing, Vijender has stated that he is not involved in the scandal and does not know the alleged drug peddler caught by the police.
Earlier, Ram claimed that the Vijender consumed drugs with him on a few occasions but insisted that the duo mistook the contraband for food supplements. Ram was Vijender's roommate at the NIS.
According to Ram, it was given to them by NRI Anup Singh Kahlon, the key accused in the case, who attempted suicide in police custody on Saturday.
"Me and Vijender experimented with drugs thinking that they were food supplements. We did not know that we were taking drugs. We were told that we were consuming food supplements meant to increase strength and stamina," Ram told reporters after being questioned by the police in Fatehgarh Sahib.
Kahlon, who slit his wrists with a wire, is "out of danger", even as police probed his alleged links with Vijender and carried out raids to nab an ex-DSP, said to be the kingpin of the gang.
Police have not yet decided on whether to call Vijender for questioning.