16 Malaysian athletes come down with food poisoning

KUALA LUMPUR: Sixteen Malay­sian athletes from swimming and petanque are down with food poisoning.

The athletes, who are staying at a leading hotel in the city, were hit by food poisoning on Wednesday, with one swimmer admitted to hospital.

It is learnt that swimmer Daniel Bego, who was admitted overnight for observation, withdrew from the men’s 200m freestyle event on Wednesday night.

SEA Games Federation president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said they were aware of the situation and that all necessary precautions had been taken.

“We were told that all relevant agencies have been alerted and are looking into the matter,” he told a press conference at the Malaysian Trade and Exhibition Centre (MiTeC) yesterday.

The KL Games does not have a dedicated Games Village, and all contingents are housed in hotels around the city.

Aquatics team manager Lee Soo Ann played down the food poisoning incident, saying “some of the swimmers suffered stomach upsets”.

Tunku Imran, who is also the president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), pointed out that other than food, another common gripe was transport.

Drivers losing their way and arriving late, and long waits for transport are some of the issues raised.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said contaminated broccoli is believed to be among the ingredients that may have contributed to the food poisoning incident.

The minister, joined by Health Ministry officials, visited the hotel that houses the 845-member national contingent.

“The hotel’s management has agreed to be more careful and view it as an isolated case. MoH will analyse the samples taken. Only one athlete further treatment while the others are recovering or have recovered,” he said.

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