Indian Olympic boxer Vijender Singh takes dope test after heroin charge
Indian Olympic bronze-medallist boxer Vijender Singh has undergone dope tests as ordered by the government after police accused him of consuming heroin, officials said.
Vijender, who won a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, gave his blood and urine samples to the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on Wednesday, sports minister Jitender Singh said.
The boxer had earlier refused to be tested by Punjab Police, who while investigating his links to an alleged dealer in a US$24 million drug haul last month said Vijender had taken heroin 12 times.
The minister, who had on Monday requested NADA to carry out immediate tests on Vijender, said late on Wednesday that the tests were carried out successfully on blood and urine samples.
“I will wait for the results before deciding on any action. I don’t want to speculate. But... if Vijender has made a mistake, he should of course be punished or penalised,” the minister was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.
NADA officials declined to comment or say when the test results will be declared.
Police seized 26 kilograms of heroin with a street value of 1.3 billion rupees (HK$186 million) in March in Punjab. The alleged dealer was arrested along with five others.
Vijender, himself a police officer in the neighbouring state of Haryana, was linked to the haul after a car belonging to his wife was found outside the residence of the alleged dealer near Chandigarh.
The 27-year-old boxer, who became a household name in India after winning the Olympic medal, has strongly denied any link to the drug dealer and has slammed as “ridiculous” the allegations against him.
The high-profile sportsman has not been seen in public for the past few weeks, but his close friend and sparring partner Ram Singh was arrested by the Punjab Police on Wednesday for what they said was “custodial interrogation”.
The Punjab Police had on Monday announced that Vijender had taken heroin 12 times and Ram Singh five times, but did not specify how they had reached this conclusion.