No more illegal races

KUALA LUMPUR: Enough is enough.

The Malaysian Athletics Federa­tion (MAF) have vowed to go all out to put a stop to illegal marathons and road races in the country.

MAF president Datuk Karim Ibrahim (pic) said it’s time to come down hard on the event organisers who “do as they like” in the wake of the Klang City International Mara­thon incident where three runners were hit by a car on Sunday.

Karim revealed there were many running events that were held without being sanctioned by the MAF and without a licence from the Sports Commissioner’s Office – with the Klang race being one of them.

“We have brought up these issues many times through press conferen­ces, as well as holding talks and seminars that were attended by event managers,” said Karim.

“Yet, people still refuse to adhere to the rules.

“They’re only interested in ma­­king a quick buck more than anything else at the expense of the ath­­letes’ safety and even people’s lives.

“MAF are the sole body to run any athletic events, including marathons and runs. So, we are the experts who can advise organisers on technical aspects besides as­sisting them in obtaining the licence from the Sports Commissioner.

“Unfortunately, some organisers do it their own way, thinking that it’s enough for them to just seek a permit from government agencies such as the muni­cipal or city councils.”

In a move to safeguard the inte­rest of runners, Karim said the MAF will impose stricter guidelines on organisers to comply with starting from next year.

Among them are only allowing reputable event managers with good track records to hold events and making it compulsory for any runs held nationwide to be officia­ted only by certified MAF officials.

MAF also warned national athletes not to take part in unsanctioned races or risk facing stern action.

“We’re not going to let any Tom, Dick and Harry organise events,” stressed Karim.

“Only those with reputable backgrounds and sufficient experience and expertise will be allowed to.

“No marathons or runs should be taking place without approval from the MAF or Sports Commissioner’s office.”

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