Selangor Journal
The flag raising ceremony at the opening of the Malaysia Games (Sukma) 2022 at Dewan Canselor Tun Abdul Razak (Dectar), Bangi, on September 17, 2022. — Picture by BERNAMA

Sukma 2022: Don’t use banned substances, says minister

BANGI, Sept 20 — Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu has warned all athletes, especially weightlifters, not to take shortcuts by using banned substances in a bid to achieve success.

The minister, who was disappointed that three Malaysia Games (Sukma) 2022 weightlifters from two states failed their pre-championship doping tests, said the problem could affect the sport from being listed as a core sport after it was previously dropped due to doping issues.

“This is due to stubbornness… we do not use shortcuts to succeed. I am confident of all the athletes, if you work hard without breaking any rules, you can become a champion.

“We acknowledge that weightlifting is no longer a core sport because of the same (doping) problem, so surely this latest development will only make it more difficult for us to elevate this sport,” he said when met at the 20th Sukma dinner function here yesterday.

Elaborating, he believes that the National Sports Council (MSN) would review the matter and make the best decision for the benefit of the country.

Yesterday, the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (MWF) announced their withdrawal from conducting the weightlifting event at the 20th edition of the Games following a decision made by the governing body over doping-related offences after three Sukma lifters tested positive during tests conducted by the Malaysian Anti-Doping Agency (Adamas).

According to the MWF, they had earlier made a decision that if any athlete from the state affiliate/association tested positive for doping, then the athlete concerned as well as others in the affiliate/state association would be suspended from participating in the 20th Sukma.

The three lifters have been banned from competing in this year’s Sukma.

Ahmad Faizal said the start of the Sukma weightlifting event was postponed by a day and will begin today, with the event handled by a special team of weightlifting enthusiasts with the cooperation of the MSN.

However, he hoped that the MWF would reconsider their stand and manage the event.

Meanwhile, Terengganu contingent head Datuk Tun Ahmad Faisal Tun Abdul Razak confirmed that one of the lifters who tested positive was from the state.

“Yes, a Terengganu athlete is involved (in the doping issue), but I do not know the name of the athlete involved. Further action will be taken when we go back to Terengganu… let’s see if the athlete wants to have a second test done,” he said.

Tun Ahmad Faisal, however, said team morale among the Terengganu lifters was still high.

In 2017, weightlifting, sepak takraw and taekwondo were dropped from the list of core sports due to doping issues.

— Bernama

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