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Sports ministry gives clean chit to Vijender

Vijender could not be reached for comment

Written by Mihir Vasavda | New Delhi |
April 17, 2013 2:54:32 am

In a relief for Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh,the Sports Ministry said on Tuesday that his blood and urine samples returned negative for banned substances,including psychotropic drugs.

The Punjab police had earlier alleged that the boxer had consumed heroin “12 times” between December 2012 and February 2013.

However,the result is along expected lines as experts had said it is difficult to find traces of heroin in blood and urine samples,especially as the boxer had allegedly taken the drug over two months before the test was conducted. The National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) collected Vijender’s samples on April 3.

Vijender could not be reached for comment.

Sports secretary P K Deb said a “full menu” test was conducted on the boxer because he had not given his samples to NADA for almost a year. “A thorough out-of-competition test was conducted on him,including a test for heroin. The tests were carried out only on his blood and urine samples and they were negative,” said Deb.

Four other boxers who were tested with Vijender also returned negative tests. Deb said that as far as the sports ministry is concerned,the case is now closed unless strong evidence comes up against Vijender during police investigations.

However,the boxer will not be allowed to return to the national camp as yet. “We are glad that he has tested negative for heroin but he continues to remain ineligible for the national camp. He chose to stay away from it despite being warned several times and rules are the same for everyone. So he won’t be allowed for the ongoing camp and a couple of tournaments. He will be able to join rest of the boxers only during the next scheduled camp,” said Deb.

He added that they will be more vigilant regarding out-of-competition tests in future. “If we conduct more tests,it will act as a deterrent as there will more chances of the athlete getting caught. After this case,we will be very strict when it comes to conducting drug tests,” Deb said.

Vijender’s name had cropped up after his wife’s car was found outside Canada-based Anoop Singh Kahlon’s Zirakpur flat,from where heroin worth Rs 130 crore was recovered.

The investigating officers had earlier demanded Vijender’s hair samples for testing,saying it was likely to provide more conclusive results.

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