Testing time for Azizul as Olympic Games loom

PETALING JAYA: There is certainly a price to pay if you excel in your sport.

Track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang may be the most frequent drug-tested Malaysian athlete but like a true professional, he takes everything in his stride.

The former keirin world champion is constantly subjected to out-of-competition tests conducted by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and shared his latest experience which happened a few days ago.

“I just got back from tarawih prayers and I then remembered that I had to make roti canai for my second child Amna Khadeeja.

“Not long after I reached home, I heard the doorbell and it turned out to be a special visitor.

“They already came last month and decided to pay me another visit.

“When the two-hour tests were over it was 11.30pm and my daughter was already sleeping on the sofa. Sadly no roti canai for her, ” said Azizul, who bagged a historic bronze in the keirin at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Cyclists who bagged medals at major competitions are subjected to continuous out-of-competition testing which they can’t refuse.

“Sometimes when I’m out with the family, I’ll get a call from them saying that they are outside my home.

“Normally you have only one hour to be present at the given location and I cannot go anywhere until the procedures are over.

“WADA have a protocol where top athletes are gathered in the Registered Testing Pool and they must update their whereabouts. WADA have the right to make surprise checks anytime.

“Throughout my professional career, I’ve been tested hundreds of times.

“I have experienced visits from very early in the morning to very late at night and sometimes while on holiday, ” added Azizul, who will be looking to bring glory for Malaysia with Mohd Shah Firdaus Sahrom at the Tokyo Olympics in July.

And the Pocket Rocketman can expect more visits as the Games draw nearer.

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