MALAYSIANS Datuk Dr Guru-charan Singh and Windsor Paul John will be part of the football competition at the London Olympics.
Dr Gurucharan is the chairman of the anti-doping committee and will be based in London and Cardiff while Windsor is in charge of all football matches, including the final, at Wembley.
Dr Gurucharan is the first Malaysian doctor serving in FIFA, Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The 62-year-old is chairman of the AFC medical committee and BWF medical commission. He is also a member of the FIFA medical committee.
London will be Dr Gurucharan’s fourth Olympics. His previous assignments were in Sydney (2000), Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008). He is also a member of the Olympic Football tournaments.
As the chairman of the anti-doping committee, Dr Gurucharan has to ensure the testing will be in accordance with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.
“The doping control officers (DCO) will have to follow the procedure. For football, the procedure is different.
“The players will have to comply with the rules of IOC and WADA. The players are allowed to take a shower as well as food. They have one hour to provide the urine samples to the DCOs.
“This is because after an intensive involvement in a physical activity, storage of muscle glycogen in a football player’s body is maximum. So the intake of food and drinks, enhances the player’s recovery. The players also come from different culture and the food and drinks must be conducive to their personal needs. It must replenish the muscle loss, The enhancement of hydration also enables early delivery of urine sample.
“I had a problem during the Beijing Olympics. The DCOs, based in Shanghai, were not aware of the rule that allows the players to have a shower.
“We had to get FIFA and IOC officials, based in Beijing, to explain to them the procedure,’’ said Dr Gurucharan.
The selection of players for testing is random. Fifteen minutes before the end of the game, four players — two from each team — are identified and informed that they are required to submit their urine samples within one hour. The results are declared within 24 hours. Team managers will be informed of any positive results.
Dr Gurucharan said almost 30,000 players had gone through the anti-doping test in the Olympics.
“Only 0.3% have been positive and 90% of the positive ones were due to recreational drugs from supplements and part drugs. FIFA had initiated a strategy and education programmes. Football is the only team sport in the Olympics with maximum control,’’ he added.
In London, Dr Gurucharan will be in the thick of action to ensure FIFA, IOC and WADA rules are adhered to.
Windsor, who is the AFC competitions division executive director, as the FIFA general co-ordinator at Wembley will be responsible for the match operations and management at the venue.
“On behalf of FIFA, I will be in charge of the technical organisation of the football tournament in the Olympics. I will be in charge of organising all the matches in Wembley. I have to work with the different agencies like security, medical, stadium authorities. London Olympics Organising Committee and IOC in ensuring the entire organisation and management of the matches are smooth.
“I will also be the main contact person with the teams, match officials and other FIFA officials,’’ said Windsor.
It will not be a problem for the 51-year-old former school teacher as London will be his third Olympics. His first was the Athens Olympics in 2004 and the second in Beijing.
Windsor has been involved in football as a coach and administrator. He was also the consultant for the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
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