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India drop heroin-tainted boxer Vijender from squad

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India’s Olympic bronze-medallist boxer Vijender Singh will not take part in two upcoming events following police accusations that he consumed heroin, a top official said on Saturday.

Vijender will not be selected in the Indian squad for tournaments in Cyprus and Cuba that serve as a prelude to the world championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan in October, the official said.

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Vijender, who won a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was accused by Punjab Police of taking heroin 12 times as they investigated his links to an alleged dealer in a $24 million drug haul last month.

Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) president Abhishek Matoria said Vijender was not considered for two events after he failed to attend selection trials in the northern town of Punjab.

“He is an Olympic hero,” Matoria told reporters. “But at the moment his training has taken a blow because of the drug controversy.

“I have been in constant touch with Vijender and he has assured me that he is not involved in the scandal. He has told me that he will come out clean.

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“As far as we are concerned, Vijender is very much a part of the Indian boxing fraternity.”

The boxer, himself a police officer in the neighbouring state of Haryana, was linked to the haul after a car belonging to his wife was found outside the residence of the drug dealer near Chandigarh.

The 27-year-old has strongly denied any link to the accused dealer and has slammed as “ridiculous” the allegations against him.

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Vijender has not been seen in public for the past few weeks, but on Wednesday he provided blood and urine samples to the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on the advice of the sports ministry.


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Department of Justice distances itself from Rudy Giuliani in unusual statement

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In an usual statement, the Justice Department on Sunday sought to distance itself from Rudy Giuliani, the personal lawyer of President Donald Trump.

This article was originally published at Salon

The law enforcement agency claimed that Brian Benczkowski, the head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, and other officials would not have taken a meeting with Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, several weeks ago had it known federal prosecutors in New York were investigating two of his business associates.

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‘America is running away like rats’: Watch angry Kurds blame US troops for dead babies as they withdraw

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The Associated Press obtained video of Kurds pelting American military vehicles with fruit as they withdrew from Syria.

The video was first captured by a Kurdish news agency, the AP said in a report on Monday.

“Like rats, America is running away,” one man shouted in Arabic. Another shouted obscenities and talked of babies in Kurdish-held Syria who had died in the Turkish offensive.

The scene encapsulated the Kurds’ feelings of betrayal and added a new indignity to a US withdrawal that has been rushed and involved several close brushes with Turkish-backed forces.

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2020 Election

Julián Castro says his campaign is ‘in dire need’ of funds – and he’s out if he can’t raise $800K in ten days

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Julián Castro says he will have to pull out of the Democratic presidential primary if he does not raise $800,000 in the next ten days. Castro, a former HUD Secretary, says he will be forced to stop campaigning if he does not reach his financial goals by the end of the month.

“The truth is, for our campaign, these debates have offered our only guaranteed opportunity to share my vision with the American people,” Castro said in an email to supporters, as Buzzfeed reports.

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