The National Institute of Sports on Sunday rejected expelled boxer Ram Singh’s claim that he and Olympic medallist Vijender Singh had taken drugs mistaking them for “food supplements”, saying the NIS has a well laid out system on food supplements for sportspersons.
Ram Singh, who was being questioned by the Punjab Police for the past three days following the arrest of an NRI Anup Singh Kahlon with heroin worth Rs. 130 Crore, told the police that he and Vijender had taken some substance which later turned out to be heroin.
In a hurriedly called press conference, Executive Director of the NIS LS Ranawat clarified the institute’s position regarding giving food supplements for sportspersons.
“We have a committee, including a doctor, to supervise the food and diet requirement for the sportspersons,” said Ranawat.
He further added that NIS calls tenders for the food supplements approved from WADA and NADA and has shortlisted two dealers for supplying approved food supplements to NIS.
Incidentally, a day before the arrest of Kahlon, the Institute had conducted surprise checks on the rooms of all sportspersons attending coaching camps here in various disciplines and nothing objectionable was found.
National Boxing Coach G.S. Sandhu, who was also present during the press conference, confirmed that they had checked all the rooms of boxers and did not find any objectionable substance.
It may be recalled that on July 2011 Punjab health department raided 11 chemist shops outside the NIS here and seized steroids and other banned drugs allegedly used by the sportsmen from three shops.
It has been learnt that the chemist shops that sell anabolic steroids to the athletes are strategically located outside the NIS centre. Eight national athletes, who trained in NIS, had failed in doping test in the recent past.
Meanwhile, NIS sources told PTI that no dope test was conducted for the last seven months. The boxing camp was underway here since January 14.