KUALA LUMPUR: Two national sports associations, kabaddi and baseball, could be suspended – or even expelled – from the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) for owing the latter RM40,000 each.
The OCM executive council had, at their meeting earlier this week, called for stern action to be taken against the two associations.
The kabaddi and baseball teams had taken part in the 2010 Asian Games and 2011 SEA Games respectively under Category B.
Category B athletes are those who failed to qualify on merit and the sports associations bear the cost of sending them to the Games. The associations will be reimbursed if the athletes win medals, otherwise they will have to repay OCM.
OCM secretary general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi claimed that the two bodies had ignored the numerous letters of demand sent to them and that “the executive board feel that action must be taken to force their hands”.
“The matter has been handed over to the legal panel to follow through with the necessary action. We want to ensure that the rules are followed in taking action and that is why the legal committee will study the issue and advise us accordingly,” he said.
Kok Chi said that this wasn’t the first time they’ve had to take action against national associations.
“Some years back we expelled the wrestling and soft tennis associations for not complying with our rules. So this (action) is nothing new. We want the associations to be more responsible and not take their places for granted,” he said.
“The Category B status is here to stay ... it has proven beneficial many times. Associations have sent athletes under the B category and they have won medals.
“So, there is no question of scrapping the category, although we are faced with problems in collecting the money owed to us.”
Kabaddi will be a big loser as it will be featured in this year’s Asian Games, which will be held in Incheon, South Korea.
Kok Chi said that it was up to the two associations to resolve the issue as soon as possible.