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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Ministry for drug test on Vijender

Saurabh Duggal, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, April 01, 2013
First Published: 18:25 IST(1/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:38 IST(2/4/2013)

A day after Punjab Police claimed boxer Vijender Singh had consumed heroin 12 times, the Union sports ministry stepped in to clear the air.

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On Monday, the ministry directed the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to carry out dope tests on Vijender.

Vijender, who agreed to provide samples for the test, however, denied the police claims, which were based mainly on the details of his phone conversations with alleged NRI drug dealer Anoop Singh Kahlon and the recovery of his Ford Endeavour car from outside Kahlon's flat in Zirakpur.

HT found the police claim of 80 calls exchanged between Singh and Kahlon is contrary to the actual call details. Between March 12, 2012 and March 12, 2013, Vijender has spoken to Kahlon only eight times.

Countering the police claim that the SUV - registered in his wife's name - was found outside Kahlon's flat, Vijender indicated the police had planted it there.

"On March 7, Ram Singh (Vijender's sparring partner, who is also accused of heroin consumption) had been called to the Fatehgarh Sahib police station for interrogation," Vijender said.

"My friends - Arjuna awardee pugilist Dinesh Kumar and former international pugilist Bunty - said they had gone with Ram in the same car."

The controversy over the Olympic medalist has been on for a month. Vijender's name was dragged into the matter after police arrested Kahlon on March 3 and 26kg of heroin was seized from his home.

On Monday, the sports ministry requested NADA to bring an end to the matter.

NADA officials said even if heroin consumption was proved, Vijender was unlikely to be penalised.

"Heroin is a banned drug, but an athlete can be punished only if he tests positive in 'in-competition' testing," said a senior NADA official.

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