New Delhi: As an after effect of the drug-haul case, boxer Ram Singh is likely to be asked to leave the ongoing national camp in Patiala.
According to National Institute of Sports (NIS) sources, Ram is all set to be dropped from the national camp as his alleged involvement in the case makes his presence an “embarrassment”.
However, Vijender Singh, who too is currently training in the camp for the next World Championships, would not face any such action, the source claimed.
On Friday, Olympic bronze medallist Vijender’s name came up in the drug-haul case. There was relief after Punjab police said that hadn’t found any direct link connecting the pugilist to the narcotics.
“Since the IABF has been suspended by both the international body (AIBA) and the sports ministry, the camp is being run under the supervision of SAI (Sports Authority of India),” said a source in the NIS.
“Though there is no concrete evidence against Ram, he is likely to be axed from the camp on Monday.”
The source pointed out that since Ram is neither a star boxer nor a medal prospect, his omission would not hamper the camp in any manner. “He is only a sparring partner and has been specially accommodated to help out Vijender.
Under the prevailing circumstances, his presence could be an embarrassment,” the source added.
IABF secretary Rajesh Bhandari said the selection of Ram in the national camp was done solely based on Vijender’s request. “As Vijender is a star boxer, it was decided to keep Ram as the sparring partner. We had a written request from Vijender.”
While Vijender is a 75kg category pugilist, Ram competes in the 90kg-plus category. He is more famous in the boxing fraternity as one of Vijender’s best friends and his long time sparring partner.
The 30-year-old Ram, who hails from Usmanpur village in Punjab, first came into prominence in 2002 when he won a silver medal in the junior nationals.
He was the part of the Indian team on a few occasions and won a couple of medals in international meets in Czech Republic and Kazakhstan.
As if the national federation being suspended by the international body was not embarrassment enough, the recent developments surrounding Indian boxing has pulled the sport down to the pits.
Saturday saw fresh controversy when Vijender Ram claimed that the duo “consumed small quantities of drug” on a few occasions.
For officials in the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF), this development is just “double embarrassment” for the sport in the country.
Agencies quoted Punjab Police sources saying that Ram told the police during his questioning that Vijender, who is currently employed as DSP with the Haryana Police, and he had consumed 1-3 grams of heroin given to them by Anup Singh Kahlon, the key accused who is currently under arrest.
Interestingly, Ram said that the first time Vijender had taken the contraband was when the duo were driving from Chandigarh to the NIS in Patiala.
Ram, however, has maintained that neither he nor Vijender was a habitual drug user and that their consumption of the drug was an “experiment”.