The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) tested Vijender Singh along with four other boxers here on Wednesday.
Union be Jitendra Singh confirmed the news to TV channels even as Sports Secretary P.K. Deb did not commit anything. “I am not in a position to confirm or deny this under the laws of NADA,” said Deb.
The Minister said NADA collected blood and urine samples of some boxers, including Vijender.
Apparently, following pressure from the Sports Ministry, NADA was forced to go ahead with the tests.
After the Ministry asked NADA to put Vijender through a dope test, NADA director general Mukul Chatterjee had been quoted in different media reports as saying that NADA could not test the top boxer for a recreational drug heroin (narcotics) in an out-of-competition test.
According to Sports Ministry sources, NADA had collected the samples of five boxers since, as per regulations, the anti-doping body could not have tested Vijender alone.
It is learnt that boxers Jasveer, Ajay, M. Suranjoy Singh and L. Devendro Singh were the other boxers who reached here from the training base in Patiala to give their samples.
Sources indicated that NADA did not gather any hair sample since the NDTL was not equipped to conduct such a test.
As per international regulations, for out-of-competition tests, the WADA-accredited laboratories shall accept samples when following conditions are met simultaneously. 1: samples are collected and sealed under conditions prevailed in competitions, 2: if the collection is part of the anti-doping programme and 3: if appropriate result management follows an adverse analytical finding.
The point here is this test cannot be considered as part of the anti-doping programme because it is being done on the orders of the Ministry to satisfy the top bosses.
Since NADA cannot test Vijender for heroin in an out-of-competition test, such a test does not have any meaning.
If NADA goes out of its way to test Vijender for heroin (which is banned in competition), then it will go against regulations laid down by WADA.
It will be interesting to see how things progress as this episode may put a question mark over the autonomy of NADA.