In a massive blow to star Indian boxer Vijender Singh, his friend Ram Singh has claimed that the Olympic bronze-medallist consumed drugs with him on a few occasions but insisted that the duo mistook the contraband for food supplements.
Ram, a super heavyweight boxer who was Vijender's roommate in the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, said he and Vijender "consumed small quantities of drug" on a few occasions.
It was given to them by NRI Anup Singh Kahlon, the key accused in the Rs 130 crore heroin haul case, who attempted suicide in police custody on Saturday.
"Vijender and I experimented with drugs thinking that they were food supplements. We did not know that we were taking drugs. We were told that we were consuming food supplement meant to increase strength and stamina," Ram told reporters after being questioned by the police in Fatehgarh Sahib.
"When we got to know that the substance we took was a drug and not food supplement, we stopped taking it. Vijender took it two-three times in January and February but he stopped after coming to know that it was a drug," he claimed.
Earlier, sources in the Punjab Police said that Ram had told the police during his questioning that former World No. 1 Vijender, who is currently employed as DSP with the Haryana Police, and had consumed 1-3 grams of heroin given to them by Kahlon.
The sources said that Ram Singh had told them that he had met Kahlon in the past but claimed ignorance about his criminal connections.
Ram told the Fatehgarh Sahib Police that Kahlon had first given him about 2 grams of heroin in December last year without charging money.
He also said the first time Vijender took the contraband was when the two were driving from Chandigarh to National Institute of Sports in Patiala.
Ram told the police that Vijender took the drug because he wanted to know why the former had vomited after taking the substance. According to police sources, Ram has maintained that neither he nor Vijender are habitual drug users.
He also told the police that he and Vijender had not participated in any competitive event after consumption of the drug.
Kahlon, arrested in the Rs 130 crore drug haul case, attempted suicide today but was "out of danger", even as police probed his alleged links with Vijender and carried out raids to nab an ex-DSP, said to be the kingpin of the gang.
Punjab Police has not yet decided on whether to call Vijender for questioning.