On a day when boxer Vijender Singh's roommate, Ram Singh, claimed that the Beijing Olympic Games medallist had been taking heroin for the past few months, the latter was thrown out of the national camp.
A top source in the Sports Authority of India said that Ram would no longer be a part of the national camp until his name was cleared of all charges. The official, however, added that Vijender would continue to remain in the camp.
A distraught Vijender told HT on Saturday that he had never taken the drug in his life. “I don't know how many times I have to repeat this sentence,” the Bhiwani boxer said.
A news channel had quoted Ram as saying that both he and Vijender had been experimenting with heroin.
“I am a sportsperson and know what is good and bad for health, so why would I take drugs and risk my health and career,” added Vijender.
For the past eight years, Ram has been Vijender's sparring partner and both have shared the same room at NIS, Patiala.
On Ram's claim that he had met drug dealer and key accused, Anoop Singh Kahlon, at least five times since December and the meetings had taken place in Chandigarh, Vijender replied, “I don't deny that I didn't meet Kahlon, but I didn't meet him so many times in the last three months.
“In December, I came to Chandigarh only once and that too to attend a dental college function. I flew back to Mumbai the same evening.
"I am sure I didn't meet Kahlon that day. I recall meeting him in the last week of February. On a couple of occasions I spoke to him over the phone, but don't remember whether I called him or he gave me a call,” added Vijender.
“Kahlon is not my friend. Whatever little I know about him is through Ram. And communicating with Kahlon doesn't make me a culprit. He is there on my Facebook account too.”
In the WADA net
When asked whether he had called Ram after Kahlon's arrest, Vijender said, “Ram is a friend and I can call him anytime. When I came to know about Kahlon's arrest on drug charges, I spoke to Ram. It came as a rude shock to me that Kahlon was in this business,” said Vijender.
Vijender said that he was under the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) whereabouts clause and that he could never do a foolish thing like taking heroin.
“Do you think I am foolish enough to be caught for drugs by WADA, knowing well I could risk my boxing career? In the last couple of years I have been tested so many times and I have always come out clean,” he said.