M A I N   N E W S

NIS expels Ram Singh; Vijender may be quizzed
Aman Sood/TNS

Patiala , March 10
Ram Singh, Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender Singh’s roommate and sparring partner, was today expelled from the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala after he admitted that he consumed drugs allegedly with the star boxer, who may soon be questioned by the police.

A former National Championship medallist in the super heavyweight category, Ram said he and Vijender experimented with drugs on a few occasions. He has been interrogated by the police.

Executive Director of the NIS LS Ranawat confirmed Ram's expulsion. “Ram will be relieved from the camp from tomorrow,” said Ranawat, adding that Vijender would continue to remain in the camp.

Ram and Vijender's name cropped up during the investigation into the recovery of Rs 130-crore heroin in Zirakpur from non resident Indian (NRI) Anup Singh Kahlon’s house on Thursday. Vijender has consistently denied his involvement in the scandal. Police sources said Vijender was likely to be called for questioning on the basis of statements made by Ram and Kahlon.

Fatehgarh Sahib SSP HS Mann said the police had a confessional statement of Ram Singh that he and Vijender experimented with drugs. “Vijender would be summoned sometime later to corroborate the claims if he was in touch with arrested NRI Kahlon,” he told The Tribune. He confirmed that Ram Singh was not under arrest and has only been interrogated.

Ram, during the interrogation, said he and Vijender "consumed small quantities of drug" on a few occasions, given to them by Kahlon.

"I and Vijender experimented with drugs thinking that these were food supplements. We did not know that we were taking drugs. We were told we were consuming a food supplement meant to increase strength and stamina," Ram said. Sources say that a three-member committee of coaches searched the rooms of boxers on the NIS campus but could not find anything objectionable.

The role of the police, too, has come under the scanner for allowing selective interviews of Ram Singh. “I think it is wrong on the part of the police to do so as it would weaken the case. Ram Singh has given out different versions each time he has been produced before mediapersons”, said a senior police officer.

Abhishek Matoria, president, Indian Amateur Boxing Federation, said he was confident that Vijender would come out clean. “Ram Singh has been expelled as he has accepted that he consumed drugs. But it would be too early to take such a harsh action against Vijender”, said Matoria.

Supporting Vijender national boxing coach GS Sandhu questioned the authenticity of Ram Singh’s statements. “Vijender is already under World Anti Doping Agency clause and can be tested anytime. He would never do such a thing (take drugs)”, he said.

(With inputs from Sanjay Bumbroo and Surinder Bhardwaj in Fatehgarh Sahib)





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |