In a big blow to India's champion boxer, the Punjab Police has for the first time confirmed that Olympian boxer Vijender Singh did take drugs, saying he took heroin nearly 12 times between December 2012 and February 2013. The police are now trying to prove this forensically. Is this going to turn into a knock-out punch for the celebrity pugilist? CNN-IBN's deputy sports editor Digvijay Singh Deo joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.
Q. If the allegations are true, what is the likely effect on the boxing community in our nation? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. True or not, the image of Indian boxing has taken a hit. Remember Punjab Police allege Vijender is guilty, the boxer has denied it. Also no test has proved that Viju is guilty. So let us give him the benefit of the doubt till then.
Q. With not much of a doubt now on the consumption will the medal winner be stripped of it? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Heroin is a banned drug only in competition as per the WADA rules. If taken outside competition as seems the case this time it caries no sanction. Also Vijender won an Olympic medal in 2008. He was tested in Beijing and was found clean. There is no chance of the medal being taken away. The argument here is a moral one...as an icon should Viju be seen dabbling in drugs. What message does it send out?
Q. Will Vijendar be banned from participating or representing India in the event if charged? Can his medals be obliterated due to this? Asked by: Narayan
A. Nothing changes, this is not a performance enhancing drug but a lifestyle drug. Also a big if. It has not been proven that he consumed heroin. Go back to the lance Armstrong case. His former teammates testified against him. But they testified that he used performance enhancing drugs. This case is totally diff
Q. Ram Singh excepted that the duo, vijender and him took the drugs. Ram singh got expelled. Why not Vijender Singh till today. Best part with us is we have one law which could be applicable to two different people according to the wishes. Asked by: pc
A. Its the word of one man against another. To be honest I feel the same. But you can understand why the boxing fed is cagey. Viju is the poster boy of boxing. You have to be 100 percent sure before taking action against him. And as of now Viju has denied the allegations. Qsn is why didnt police immediately send his samples for testing. Having known Viju for a long while I know how close Ram Singh is to him. So if Ram Singh accepts they took heroin I believe it. Also the argument is foolish. Ram says we thought it was a food supplement. Illogical argument. Food supplement is consumed orally. Heroin can be smoked, snorted or injected only
Q. This is what happens when you become a celebrity especially if your from a rural background. You try and ape the urban culture and land up in this mess? Asked by: AKS
A. Not fair. Viju won an Olympic medal in 2008, a World Championship medal in 2009 and an Asiad Gold in 2010. Also he reached the medal round in London last year. He isn't aping anyone, he is a celebrity in his own right. Also there has been no competition since Olympics. So Viju is not competing anywhere. My view is this, if he has taken it he should come out and confess. Say I made a mistake and let my fans down. That is what Michael Phelps did in 2009.
Q. What is Vijender losing by consuming drugs? The boxing association has been derecognized, would he have been able to represent the country whether or not he took drugs Asked by: Narayan
A. It isn't about losing or gaining. Drugs are bad. That's why they are banned. I don't know if he took drugs. Ram says he did, Viju says no and there is no test to prove that he did. But the larger question is Viju is an icon. He should conduct himself impeccably.
Q. The find of police is likely to be contested by the boxer? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Yes, Vijender has maintained he didn't consume the drugs. I was more worried about the peddling charge. No police say there is no peddling charge which they will pursue just consumption charges. I can live with that. Everyone makes mistake. Let us be honest. I do not think Viju has another Olympics left in him. He took part in 3, won a medal, lost in the medal round in another. He does not need to prove anything to anyone.
Q. Is it necessary that a NADA or WADA confirmation only will make a case against the boxer for Anti-Doping action? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. As mentioned somewhere above Heroin is not a banned drug out of competition as is the case here. Also Viju has not failed a WADA/NADA test. There are allegations that he consumed heroin. It is not a performance enhancing drug. If found that he did, his federation can take action against him on moral or ethical grounds, like USA swimming took against Phelps when they banned him for 3 months for being clicked inhaling from a bong
Q. Is it because the boxer is a celebrity and a cop that no concrete action has been taken against? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. There has to be concrete proof as well. Unless proven medically how do we know he took drugs. I find it strange that he has still not been tested. If Punjab police are so certain why have they delayed for so long. There are plenty of FSL's in Delhi...how far is Delhi from Chandigarh if they can't find one there!