Boxing: Indian police to summon boxer over drugs haul

Indian police said Sunday it will question the 2008 Olympic bronze-medallist boxer Vijender Singh over alleged links to a man who was arrested after heroin worth $24 million was seized from his house.

Police said the arrested man had named Vijender Singh and fellow boxer Ram Singh, both unrelated, as his "clients".

"It is crucial for us to question Vijender Singh because the peddlar has named the boxer as his client. Even Vijender's friend, Ram Singh has told us that they were both using heroin," senior officer H.S. Mann told AFP.

Police seized 26 kilograms (57 pounds) of heroin worth 1.3 billion rupees ($24 million) from the alleged peddlar in the northern state of Punjab. He was arrested along with five others, including an Indian man based in Canada.

Mann, who heads the investigation, said Vijender will be summoned next week. The star boxer has strongly denied links with the alleged peddlar, slamming the "ridiculous charges" against him.

He won the bronze in middleweight category at the 2008 Beijing Games. His victory helped raise boxing's profile in India.

Ram Singh, who is a super heavyweight boxer, on Saturday admitted he had purchased drugs from the alleged peddler but insisted that both he and Vijender were not addicts, according to Mann.

There have been a number of major drug seizures in Punjab in recent years. A Punjab university study in 2011 suggested that as much as 70 percent of the state's youth were addicted to drugs or alcohol.