Other Sports

Published: Tuesday December 17, 2013 MYT 8:43:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday December 17, 2013 MYT 9:10:14 PM

Malaysian SEA Games athletes should be ‘clean’

Filepic shows a doping control lab at Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang... so far no Malaysian athlete has been tested positive for doping at the Myanmar SEA Games.

Filepic shows a doping control lab at Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang... so far no Malaysian athlete has been tested positive for doping at the Myanmar SEA Games.

NAYPYITAW: A Doping offence marred Malaysia’s participation at the last SEA Games in Jakarta two years ago.

But Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi is confident that the Malaysian contingent will keep their name clean at the ongoing Myanmar SEA Games.

“None of our athletes have tested positive so far and I am confident that no one will be tested positive this time,” said Kok Chi, before returning home with a group of athletes, who had completed their mission in Naypyitaw.

Random doping tests have been carried out at all venues at the SEA Games.

In Jakarta, one of the runners in the victorious 4x100m athletics relay team tested positive and they were stripped of their gold medal.

Kok Chi gave a thumbs-up to the organisation of the 27th SEA Games by Myanmar although there were initial fears that it would be chaotic.

“The facilities at all the venues that I have been to are good. The Athletes’ Village set-up is also impressive but the food provided is quite plain, without much variety,” he said.

“The venues are all spread out but I think, the transportation has improved.

“I have not heard of any of our teams having transportation problems. The most important thing is for athletes to get to their venues on time.

“The security is also comprehensive. There are checkpoints at every venue.”

On Malaysia’s 40-medal target, he said: “I am confident we can reach it and, with some luck, even beat it by a couple of golds.”

Kok Chi, however, was mystified by the number of observers from other countries who have arrived for this year’s edition in Myanmar.

“Malaysia are not the only country struggling with this issue,” he said, when asked to comment about the presence of Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) council members, the Terengganu Sports Council (TSC) officers and even of the short visit by Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Sarawak is being considered as one of the co-hosts when SEA Games returns to Malaysia in 2017.

“The 2014 Asian Games organising committee (South Korea) sent four officers to ‘learn’ and observe Myanmar. Imagine a country that has organised one Olympic Games, two Asian Games and one World Cup is sending a team to ‘learn’ from a country that has not organised a SEA Games or other multi-sports Games for the last 44 years!

“The Singapore Sports Council have sent 60 observers to also ‘learn’ from Myanmar. (Singapore is hosting the 2015 SEA Games.) Suddenly, Myanmar has become the mecca of sport.

“To be fair, part of the objectives of the SEA Games is to develop and strengthen relations among the people of the South-East Asian region. Thus, the more people come to the SEA Games, the better it may be for everyone. Wouldn’t you agree?” he asked with a smile.

Indeed, it will be good if they come on their own pocket money and not from the hard-earned money of the taxpayers!

Tags / Keywords: SEA Games, Naypyitaw, Myanmar, doping, OCM

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