Vijay Singh, former JK Superbikes Cup 600cc winner, has been cleared of doping charges, with a new DNA test confirming that the sample which tested positive for the banned substance wasn’t in fact his. The superbike racer had been slapped with a four-year ban after traces of Stanozolol were found in his urine sample, collected during the National Racing Championship in 2018.
Singh was handed a four-year ban for doping
DNA test reveals positive sample did not belong to him
DNA analysis clears Vijay Singh of doping
It’s been a long two-year journey for Singh, who approached the Delhi High Court to seek justice. Following the initial ruling, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) suspended Singh for four years from the date the first notice of charge was issued on January 25, 2019.
However, Singh remained adamant that an error had been made. He appealed to the Delhi High Court, looking to have the sample DNA tested to confirm that it came from him. This is the first time in India that an athlete has sought to use DNA analysis to prove his innocence in a doping case.
On March 22, 2021, the Delhi High Court directed NADA to collect a DNA sample from Singh by March 25 and send it to a lab in London accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). All costs of the same were borne by Singh.
The results of these tests confirm that the sample containing traces of Stanozolol did not belong to him. Following an online hearing on Thursday, June 3, he was exonerated of the charges. Speaking with Autocar India, Singh said: “I knew that there was no way they could have found Stanozolol in my system.”
He also pointed out how protocol requires only the dope control officer to be present along with the athlete in the room when the sample collection is happening. However, in his case in 2018, there were nearly 20 people in the room.
Setting a precedent
Singh hopes that his story will set a precedent going ahead. Those in the two-wheeler community may be more familiar with his work as the founder of Rajputana Customs. He acknowledges he’s fortunate that he isn’t a professional racer and that he could afford the hefty legal fees required. “For those without the financial backing and knowhow of how to go about these things, moving forward it won’t be this tough for them,” he hopes.
“I am relieved that this whole ordeal is over. I am happy that going forward, at least things are going to be different for the standard operating procedure of them [NADA] collecting samples, running awareness programmes and running a system in a way that it’s supposed to be run,” Singh added.
“I don’t want to speculate how this happened. All I knew all throughout it was that it [the positive sample] was not mine.
Autocar India has reached out to NADA for a statement.
Photo Credits: Malhaar Chaturvedi