Selangor Journal

Sukma organising committee will not compromise with athletes involved in doping

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — The 20th Malaysia Games (Sukma) Organising Committee yesterday stressed that it would not compromise with athletes involved in doping.

The committee also expressed its disappointment with the decision of the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (PABM) to prohibit the involvement of its technical officials from handling weightlifting events due to the governing body’s ruling regarding doping-related offences which was frowned upon by the National Sports Council (MSN).

It saw the event cannot go on without the involvement of PABM in order to give a chance to clean athletes to compete in the games this time, although two Terengganu athletes and one from Perlis tested positive for doping in the pre-tournament tests.

“When the test was taken 30 days prior to the start of the competition, there was no rule set by PABM to cancel the participation of the entire team if any of the team’s athletes failed the test. We were only informed on September 13, which was six days before the weightlifting event was to be held.

“The decision to cancel the entire team’s participation by PABM is also the first of its kind in the world, in contrast to competition rules at the international level that only revokes the participation of athletes who are proven to have failed a doping test,” read the statement from the committee.

The committee said that the meeting of state chef-de-missions on Sept 15 and another recent meeting attended by all State Sports Council directors had also agreed for the weightlifting event to continue without banning all athletes of the state association involved in doping cases.

However, the committee said that it respected PABM’s stand and that the rule (of banning the whole state team) could be implemented if it was officially included in the Malaysia Games Regulations and every state was informed of the matter.

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

Meanwhile, PABM president Datuk Ayub Rahmat when contacted confirmed that any national record broken during Sukma this time would not be recognised as the competition did not involve any technical officers from the parent body.

Earlier, Nurul Afiqah Muhammad Zamzuri from Terengganu won gold in the women’s 45kg category after successfully lifting 135kg (55kg for snatch, 80kg for clean and jerk), where the clean and jerk lift surpassed her national record of 77kg set at the 2019 SEA Games.

Terengganu Weightlifting Association president Mohd Shafaruddin Mustafa said the two athletes from the state had tested positive after taking medication for fatigue and pain during the central training camp in Cameron Highlands from August 17-31.

“They didn’t take external supplements or drugs, but it was due to drugs bought at the pharmacy due to health problems. We also do not want to challenge (by requesting to test the) sample B, because we already know the reason and are not allowed to compete,” he said.

— Bernama

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