India’s chief boxing coach Gurbux Singh Sandhu was fuming yesterday at reports of his star ward Vijender Singh being embroiled in a drug net after his wife Archana’s car was found near a flat in Chandigarh, where 26kg of heroin worth Rs 130 crore was recovered.
Vijender was quick to defend himself after police arrested an NRI Anup Singh Kahlon and his associate Kulwinder Singh in connection with the drugs. “I am shocked. I don’t know how the car reached the spot (in Zirakpur). My friends did use the car to drop me at the airport, but I don’t know what happened after that. I don’t understand how can my name be dragged into this,” Vijender told TV channels.
Though reports said Kahlon claimed to know Vijender, Punjab police later clarified that initial investigations did not suggest any link to the boxer.
Won’t buy that
Sandhu however, could not understand how anyone could ever doubt someone like Vijender. “I have known Vijender and his family very closely for over a decade now. His dedication to the sport is unmatched. Boxing has given him everything — success, fame and money. He does not need to be even remotely associated to drugs. In fact, even if Viju himself says he’s doing drugs, I won’t believe him. That’s how sincere a person he is,” Sandhu told MiD DAY from Patiala yesterday.
“Viju is a celebrity and many people are keen to meet him and claim to know him. He could have been introduced to that chap at some event, and that’s it,” explained Sandhu, who has been alongside every success the star Middleweight boxer has achieved — be it the 2008 Beijing bronze medal, the 2009 World Championships bronze or the 2010 Guangzhou Asiad gold.
Sandhu said Vijender was disturbed by the development. “Viju called me up this afternoon and told me that he had nothing to do with all this. He sounded very upset and I asked him to calm down and assured him that once the truth will be out, he will have nothing to worry about.
“Indian boxing is already going through a difficult phase with the AIBA (International Boxing Federation) having suspended the Indian Boxing Federation (IABF) over alleged manipulation in elections, and Viju could do without yet another unnecessary challenge outside the ring,” added Sandhu.