KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) will say tak nak to smokers in the national training squad. Any athlete caught smoking will be immediately dropped.
MAAU deputy president Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah said after the executive board meeting at the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil yesterday that the total ban on smoking would take effect immediately.
If we catch any athlete smoking, we will not hesitate to drop him or her from the national training team,'' said Danyal. The MAAU are heeding Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Saids order to do a random urine tests on national athletes to weed out those addicted to smoking or drugs.
Azalina said she had received reports that some of the 138 athletes selected for the 2006 Qatar Asian Games Project had been caught smoking.
Danyal added that they would also not hesitate to send home any athlete from international meets abroad if they are found guilty of indiscipline or are injured.
We dont want any passengers for overseas meets. Some of the athletes go for overseas meets despite being injured. Once there, they decide not to compete because of the injury, said Danyal.
He added that there were a few cases in the inaugural Islamic Solidarity Games in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago where athletes decided to skip their events because of injury.
Some of them were also indisciplined. Team manager Karim (Ibrahim) has verbally told us of the cases of indiscipline in Saudi Arabia but we are waiting for a written report from him before taking action against the culprits,'' said Danyal.
Because of the cases of indiscipline and injury in Saudi Arabia, the MAAU will make amendments to the list of athletes to the Thailand Open from May 3-6 and Taiwan Open from May 21-22.
MAAU sent 17 athletes to the ISG. Walker Mohd Shahrulhaizy Abdul Rahman was the only athlete to land a medal, a bronze in the 20km walk.
Robani Hassan, meanwhile, finished fourth in the 110m hurdles final with a personal best of 13.93. His effort not only earned him a place in the Manila SEA Games but also in the Asian Track and Field (ATF) Championships in South Korea in August.