I REFER to your report on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Sports Commissioner’s Office (SCO) stepping up to combat corruption in sports, and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s support for their efforts, “KJ lauds joint effort” (The Star, May 1).
Malaysian sports has been rocked by a myriad of scandals and allegations ranging from match-fixing, hooliganism, doping, gambling, misappropriation of funds and heavy politicking in many sports associations.
In 1995, over 100 semi-pro league players including national players were arrested, suspended or banned for their participation in the match-fixing menace which rocked the country, leaving many fans feeling cheated and staying away from the games after that.
It seems the disease of match-fixing is not confined to football as there are now allegations of it spreading to badminton. The authorities such as the police and MACC, Fifa, World Badminton Federation(WBF) and Interpol must work together to smash the syndicates involved.
FAM and BAM also need to adopt preventive measures on doping and the taking of performance enhancement drugs by our sportsmen and sportswomen. At the 2014 Asian Games held in Incheon, South Korea, a Malaysian Wushu gold medallist was stripped of her medal after being found to have consumed slimming pills, a banned drug. Being ignorant of diet or the right supplements to consume is a grave mistake. Badminton ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s taking of cordyceps is a classic example.
Sports associations, the National Sports Institute, and the Malaysian Anti-Doping Agency must educate players, coaches and officials on a regular basis about the of risks of doping and conduct random tests off competition to send a strong message to all our sportsmen and women.
On their part, the athletes need to have high personal integrity and not to be so affected by greed and instant fame that they would be prepared to achieve their ambition through crooked means. This will tarnish our nation’s image internationally, and we already have a number of such cases. Cheating to win in sports will never pay in the end.
Stringent laws need to be drafted to address these problems, including imposing a lengthy jail term and public shaming, with photos of those involved shown in the media. Dope cheats must also be banned from sports.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is now pushing for four years’ suspension for all dope cheats. But the problem will persist unless those involved are banned from sports.
C. SATHASIVAM SITHERAVELLU