Two days after the Union Sports Ministry asked the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to check boxer Vijender Singh for suspected use of heroin, the Olympian on Wednesday gave his blood and urine samples to the agency.
Meanwhile, in a development that could spell more trouble for Vijender, the Punjab Police arrested his sparring partner Ram Singh. The police had a day before seized 95 kg of drugs from his brother-in-law’s house, thus claiming Ram Singh was deeply in the trade. He, along with Vijender, allegedly consumed heroin supplied by arrested druglord Anup Singh Kahlon.
Ram Singh’s arrest meant that the investigating agency could tighten its noose around Vijender too in the coming days.
Sports Minister Jitender Singh confirmed that Vijender gave his samples on Wednesday morning to NADA for testing. The results are expected shortly.
However, the samples are not likely to specifically confirm the use of heroin — no hair samples were given as such facilities are not available in the sports labs.
Even the sample-taking turned out to be a dramatic event, after the Sports Ministry wrote to the NADA to check for the use of heroin and the agency cited rules to say it cannot be directed to obtain samples, and cannot specifically check for heroin as it is not banned during the out-of-competition season.
Embarrassed by the NADA’s ‘defiance’, the Sports Ministry went back to the rule book to say that it cannot refuse to take samples.
The NADA, guided by strict international accreditation rules, took precautions while taking Vijender’s samples.
“I will wait for the results before deciding on any action. Even if Vijender has made a mistake, he should, of course, be punished or penalised, but after that his rehabilitation should start,” said Jitender Singh.