Despite the special court rejecting Punjab Polices petition to conduct a drug test on him,Vijender Singh,whose name cropped up in the multi-crore drug haul in March,is hesitant to travel to Punjab for the national camp at NIS,Patiala.
The Beijing Olympic medallist has requested the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) to allow him to train in his home state of Haryana at Sonepat instead.
It is learnt that the boxer is keen to return to practice after the court reprieve on Wednesday which quashed Punjab Polices request to procure Vijenders hair and fingernails samples to ascertain that he consumed heroin. The blood and urine tests conducted on Vijender by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) also returned negative last month,paving the way for the boxer to return to the ring.
A top SAI official said it was likely that Vijender would be granted permission to train at the SAI centre in Sonepat considering the exceptional circumstances the boxer was dealing with. We received a written request from Vijender a couple of days ago,which is being processed at the moment and a final decision will be taken in the next few days. We are considering it as a special case and in all likelihood,he will be given permission, the official said. He isnt keen to travel to Punjab at the moment because of the uncertain situation there. If he thinks he will be able to concentrate well by training in Sonepat,then whats the harm?
Its still not clear as to how long Vijender will be allowed to practice alone,away from the national camp and whether his sparring partners and coaches,who are currently in Patiala,will be asked to join him in Sonepat. Chief coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said it will be for SAI and the federation to decide on who will accompany Vijender. Its a positive sign that Vijender has decided to return and we will assist him in whatever way possible. He has requested to train in Sonepat and its something that SAI is looking into, Sandhu said.
However,the 59-year-old Dronacharya awardee said it would be better for Vijender if he joins the camp in Patiala as soon as possible. Currently,there are 45 boxers from all weight categories training at the NIS. Theres no problem if he wants to train alone in Sonepat for a few days. But its important that he joins the national camp as that will help him get into the groove. Well see whats best for him once he is back, Sandhu said.
To miss Asian Cships
Meanwhile,the boxer is set to miss the Asian Championships as well,after he failed to turn up for the selection trials for the tournament which will be held from June 30 to July 9 in Jordan. The trials were held from May 6 to 8.
The ace pugilists name had figured in a case related to the major seizure of drugs by Punjab Police from a gang run by NRI Anup Singh Kahlon. The police claimed that Vijender had consumed heroin 12 times between December 2012 and February 2013 but the boxer had repeatedly denied the charges.