Ministry in a fix as NADA refuses to test Vijender
New Delhi: The National Anti-Doping Agency's refusal to test star boxer Vijender Singh for heroin has left the Sports Ministry flummoxed and it will wait for a written response from NADA before deciding its next move.
The NADA, which is an autonomous Indian body, is willing to conduct a regular out-of-competition dope test on Vijender but has expressed its inability to test the Olympic bronze-medallist for heroin citing World Anti-Doping Agency's protocol.
In response, the Ministry said it would decide on its next move after getting NADA's reply in writing.
"We have not asked NADA to proclaim anything on his guilt but just conduct a test to find out whether he took heroin…
the NADA has not conveyed anything to us in writing, let them do that first and then we will think of our stand," Sports Secretary P K Deb told PTI.
The Ministry had stepped in Monday to clear the air on the controversy but NADA's stand means that even a dope test would not give any conclusive evidence against Vijender, who has maintained a stoic silence after his initial denial.
"We will not be testing Vijender for heroin. We will strictly go by the NADA and WADA code. We are independent and will strictly follow the protocol for out-of-competition testing of an athlete irrespective of what the Sports Ministry has said," NADA director-general Mukul Chatterjee told PTI.
"There is no time frame in the letter which we have received from the Ministry, we will undertake the test when NADA finds it appropriate.
"NADA can't go against the WADA code. The blood and urine test will be strictly conducted under the WADA code and the NADA rules. We cannot contradict the Sports Ministry as well as we are being funded by the government," he said.