Azalina wants drugs test for Games athletes

INTERESTING: Datuk Azalina Othman Said takes a look at a souvenir presented by some BJSS athletes as Education Ministry Parliamentary Secretary P. Komaladevi (on her right) and Nestle Products Sdn Bhd managing director Sullivan O’Carroll (far right) look on during the launching of the ‘Grow with Sports’ campaign yesterday. – STARpic BY KAMARUL ARIFFIN

KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said will propose to the National Sports Council (NSC) to get all athletes for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne next month to be tested for banned substances. 

Azalina said that there was a need to look into ways to educate the athletes on the importance of avoiding drugs and taking supplements and medication containing illegal substances. 

“I will talk to Dr Ramlan Aziz (NSC director general) to gather the athletes, especially those going to the Melbourne Games, and talk to them on this matter,” she said in respond to allegations of doping issues reported recently. “We also want to make sure they are all tested here before they go to Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games.” 

A national footballer and a member of the karate team, who bagged a silver in the Manila SEA Games last December, were reported recently to have tested positive. The karate exponent has since quit the national team. 

“I understand the exponent took slimming tea to reduce weight for the competition. This is why athletes need to be educated on the importance of knowing what substances they can take.” 

Azalina said after the launch of a Milo public service campaign at the Bukit Jalil Sports School yesterday that she was embarrassed with these cases, considering her position as a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). 

The Milo campaign, titled “Grow With Sports”, aims to educate and instil in parents the positive values of sports in the upbringing of their children. 

Under this campaign, which will run in media advertisements, Milo will play an active role in encouraging parents to get their children to participate in sports. 

The campaign will be multi-dimensional and will showcase Malaysian families and athletes whose lives have been enriched through sports. 

Nestle Products Sdn Bhd managing director Sullivan O’Carroll said that the power of sports must not be under-estimated. “Children grow better with sports. Our challenge is to harness its positive values to help in the development of our children and society at large,” he said. 

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