First Sikh guardsman of UK Army tests positive for cocaine, could be expelled

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London | Published: September 25, 2018 10:21:55 AM

A 22-year-old Sikh soldier, who created history by becoming the first to wear a turban during an annual parade to mark British Queen Elizabeth II's birthday ceremony, could be kicked out from his post after he was tested positive for cocaine, according to a media report.

Guardsman Charanpreet Singh Lall Coldstream Guards, including Guardsman Charanpreet Singh Lall, aged 22, a Sikh from Leicester who is the first soldier to wear a turban during the Trooping the Colour parade, march down The Mall as part of Trooping the Colour in central London, Britain, June 9, 2018. (Reuters)

A 22-year-old Sikh soldier, who created history by becoming the first to wear a turban during an annual parade to mark British Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday ceremony, could be kicked out from his post after he was tested positive for cocaine, according to a media report. Charanpreet Singh Lall made headlines across the world for wearing the turban during the Trooping the Colour in June.

However, last week he failed a random drugs test at his barracks, with insiders claiming he registered “high levels” of cocaine, The Sun reported.

“Guardsman Lall has been discussing it openly in the barracks. The Guards carry out public duties at the Palace, it’s disgraceful behaviour,” a source was quoted as saying by the report. “It is for his commanding officer to decide if he gets the boot — but anyone caught taking Class A drugs can expect to be dismissed.”

“Everyone’s shocked. He was put in the limelight and now he’s brought only embarrassment,” the report said. Lall is one of the three soldiers who failed the test at Windsor’s Victoria Barracks.

Brigadier Christopher Coles, Head of Army Personnel Services Group, said: “I can confirm that a number of soldiers from the Coldstream Guards are under investigation for alleged drugs misuse.” Lall, who was born in Punjab moved to the UK with his family as a baby. He later joined the British Army in January 2016. He hit the headlines in June after he made history as part in the 1000-strong ceremony marking the Queen’s 92nd birthday.

While Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her actual birthday on April 21, the Trooping of the Colour ceremony takes place on any Saturday of June. The ceremony has commemorated the birthday of the sovereign for more than 250 years and also functions as a display of army drills, music and horsemanship.

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